Presenting her maiden budget in Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman spoke about the Jal Shakti Mantralay and informed that there will be an integration of different ministries and that the new Ministry will look at the management of the country's water resources, by using it in a holistic manner.
Further affirming that all departments will work closely with all states to ensure 'Har Ghar Jal', the Finance Minister said, "All rural households provided water under the Jal- Jeevan Mission by 2024. It will focus on the integrated demand and supply site of management of water at the local level, including the creation of local infrastructure and for source sustainability".
Giving examples of rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture, the Finance Minister added, "The Jal Jeevan Mission will merge with other schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country"
Claiming that the Narendra Modi-led government will use funds available under various schemes including additional ones under the afforestation act, Finance Minister Sitharaman stated that they have identified 1590 plots that are critical and overexploited and spread across 256 districts for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.
This comes in the wake of major water crisis faced by many parts of the country, with the Centre recently issuing a drought advisory to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, asking them to use water judiciously. Many districts in these states have been declared under severe drought as water levels in the dams and the groundwater levels have reached dangerously low as per reports.
On taking oath on May 30, PM Modi announced that a new ministry, Jal Shakti, had been introduced, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll promise of providing safe drinking water to people. Member of Parliament from Jodhpur, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who defeated Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav Gehlot, heads the Jal Shakti Ministry.