Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually launch Jal Shakti Abhiyan : Catch the Rain campaign on the occasion of World Water Day today. The theme of the campaign is ‘Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls’. In the presence of the Prime Minister, the signing of historic Memorandum of Agreement between the Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project will also take place. This is the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers.
This project involves transfer of water from the Ken to the Betwa River through the construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers. It will provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hactare, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 Mega Watt of hydropower. The Project will be of immense benefit to the water starved region of Bundelkhand, especially to the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh.
It will pave the way for more interlinking of river projects to ensure that scarcity of water does not become an inhibitor for development in the country. The campaign will be undertaken across the country in both rural and urban areas. It will be implemented from today till 30th November – the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country. It will be launched as a Jan Andolan to take water conservation at grass-root level through people’s participation.
The campaign is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater. After the event, Gram Sabhas will be held in all Gram Panchayats of each district, except in the poll bound states to discuss issues related to water and water conservation. Gram Sabhas will also take Jal Shapath for water conservation.