The Jal Shakti Ministry, which is executing the government's mission to provide clean and piped drinking water to every household in the country, has been earmarked Rs 28,261.59 crore in the budget 2019-20. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation have been merged into the Jal Shakti Ministry under the second term of the Narendra Modi government.
The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has been earmarked Rs 20,016.34 crore in 2019-20 as compared to Rs 19,992.97 crore in 2018-19. Under this, the allocation of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) has gone down to Rs 9,994 crore as against Rs 14,478 crore in the previous year. The National Drinking Rural Mission has been allocated Rs 9,150 crore in 2019-20 as against Rs 5,391.32 crore in 2018-19. The Department of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation has been allocated Rs 8,245.25 crore, compared to Rs 7,269.25 crore earmarked in 2018-19.
There has been a drop in the budget under the National River Conservation Plan.
In 2018-19, the allocation under this head was Rs 1,620 crore, which has come down to Rs 1,220 crore in 2019-20. During her maiden budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spelled out water, its management, clean rivers as one of the 10 points of vision for the next decade.
Ensuring India's water security and providing access to safe and adequate drinking water to all Indians is a priority of the government, she asserted. The Jal Shakti Ministry will look at the management of country's water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner, and will work with states to ensure Har Ghar Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission, she said.
The government has also identified 1,592 blocks which are critical and overexploited, spread across 256 districts for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. Besides using funds available under various Schemes, the government will also explore the possibility of using additional funds available under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for this purpose, the Finance Minister said.
Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director of Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL), said the integrated approach to the management of country's water resources will ensure optimizing the use of these resources for the benefit of all.
"The target of providing drinking water to every house through the Har Ghar Jal program by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission is very critical considering that water shortage is fast becoming a big concern," Kirloskar added.