On the Birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) and named the Strategic Tunnel under Rohtang Pass after Vajpayee, in an event held in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister said that today the name of a big project which is very important for the country, Rohtang Tunnel, connecting Manali, Himachal Pradesh with Leh, Ladakh and Jammu Kashmir, will now be known as Atal Tunnel. He also said that this strategic tunnel will change the fortunes of this region. It will help in promoting tourism in the region.
On Atal Jal Yojana, PM highlighted that the subject of water was very important to Atal ji and very close to his heart. Our Government is striving to implement his vision. Atal Jal Yojana or the guidelines related to the Jal Jeevan Mission, are big steps in proving the resolve to deliver water to every household in the country by 2024, the PM added. He said that this water crisis is worrying for us as a family, as a citizen and as a country also it affects development. New India has to prepare us to deal with every situation of water crisis. For this, we are working together on five levels.
Prime Minister emphasized that Jal Shakti Ministry freed the water out of Compartmentalized Approach and laid stress on a Comprehensive and Holistic Approach. In this monsoon, we have seen how extensive efforts have been made for water conservation on behalf of the society, from the Jal Shakti Ministry. He said that on one hand, Jal Jeevan Mission, will work towards delivering piped water supply to every house, and on the other hand Atal Jal Yojana, will pay special attention to those areas where groundwater is very low.
To incentivise gram panchayats to perform better in water management, Prime Minister said that a provision has been made in the Atal Jal Yojana, in which better performing gram panchayats, will be given more allocation. He said that in 70 years, only 3 crore out of 18 crore rural households have access to piped water supply. Now our Government has set the target to deliver clean drinking water to 15 crore homes in the next five years through pipes.
Prime Minister emphasized that water-related schemes should be made according to the situation at every village level. This has been taken care while making the guidelines of the Jal Jeevan Mission, he added. He also said that both Union and State Governments will spend Rs 3.5 lakh crore on water related schemes in the next 5 yrs. He requested the people of every village to make a water action plan and create a water fund. Farmers should make a water budget where groundwater is very low.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Defence Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh said that our economy is dependent on water conservation and we have to be carefully using water resources. We need to take concerted efforts to increase the ground water level. Shri Singh complemented the Prime Minister for naming the Rohtang tunnel after the former PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘Atal tunnel’.