Indian Budget 2019: Water Security For All Makes Waves

Bringing the common man's problem of access to water to the parliament’s Lower House, Finance minister in her maiden budget discussed "Water for all" mission for the new Jal Ministry

The Indian Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman in her first Budget presentation said that ensuring India’s water security and providing access to safe and adequate drinking water to all Indians is a priority of the Government. She talked about India’s water security and informed the house that 1592 critical and overexploited Blocks spread across 256 District has been identified for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.

She added that the new Ministry will focus on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level. The minister reiterated the mission statement and added that Jal Jeevan Mission will achieve Har Ghar Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024. For this to become a reality there is a need for convergence with other Central and State Government Schemes. While presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in the Parliament today, Sitharaman said that a major step in this direction has been the constitution of the Jal Shakti Ministry, integrating the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

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Highlights:

  • Providing access to safe and adequate drinking water to all Indians is a priority of the Government
  • Jal Jeevan Mission to ensure Har Ghar Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024
  • New Ministry-“Jal Shakti Mantralaya” to manage water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner with the State Governments

This Mission, under the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, will focus on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level, including the creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.

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.

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