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Atal Bhujal Yojana, a Central Sector Scheme with a total outlay of Rs.6,000 crore is being implemented in 8,220 water-stressed Gram Panchayats of 229 administrative blocks/ Talukas in 80 districts of seven States, viz. Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for a period of 5 years from 01.04.2020.

The institutional set-up required for the implementation of the program such as State Project Monitoring Units and District Project Monitoring Units has been set up. Procurement activities for data collection equipment are in advanced stage.

The communities in all 8220 Gram Panchayats have been mobilized through existing Village and Water Sanitation Committees and their capacities have been built up through focused Information, Education & Communication (IEC) and training programs in terms of groundwater data collection and its importance in water budgeting for informed and decentralized decision making. A total of 8207 Community-led Water Security Plans (WSPs), having details about water budget and proposed demand-side interventions such as micro-irrigation, crop diversification, use of pipelines etc, and supply-side interventions such as check dams, farm ponds, recharge shafts and other artificial recharge/water conservation structures, have been prepared. Implementation of the WSPs is being done in the field with the active involvement of communities through the convergence of various Central / State Government Schemes by concerned line departments.

In order to simplify and speed up the implementation of the scheme, consultations were held with States and a number of measures were taken such as removing irrelevant documentation by providing data from the back-end, updation in MIS, provision of data entry in the mobile app, provision of issuing instructions/guidelines in the local language, adequate capacity building for all the stakeholders by relevant experts, regular troubleshooting workshops etc. Periodic field visits and regular reviews are also conducted.

The scheme is piloting approaches to participatory demand management of groundwater in water-stressed areas of water-stressed states.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Bishweswar Tudu in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.