India on water day (March 22) launched a major campaign across the country aimed at harvesting rain water, Named “Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”, the mega project calls for creating appropriate Rain Water Harvesting Structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata before monsoon in all the states.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign. Noting that rapid development is not possible without water security and effective water management, he said the vision of India’s development and self-reliance depended on water sources and Water Connectivity.
Modi said that the challenge of water crisis increased equally with India’s development. He said it is the responsibility of the present generation to fulfill its responsibility for the generations to come. He asserted that the government has made water governance a priority in its policies and decisions.
“In the last 6 years, many steps have been taken in this direction. He talked about Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna, water campaign to every farm – Har Khet ko Paani, ‘Per Drop More Crop’ campaign and NamamiGange Mission, Jal Jeevan Mission or Atal Bhujal Yojana. Work is being undertaken rapidly on all these schemes,” he said.
Need to manage water
The Prime Minister pointed out “the better India manages rainwater, the lesser the country’s dependence on groundwater. Therefore, success of campaigns like ‘Catch the Rain’ is very important.” He called upon to step up water conservation efforts in the days leading upto Monsoon. Emphasizing the importance of sarpanches and DMs/DCs, he said that the ‘Jal Shapath’ which is being organized all over the country should become everybody’s pledge and second nature.
The “Catch the Rain” campaign involves the drive to make check dams, water harvesting pits and rooftop rainwater harvesting. It also involves removal of encroachments and de-silting of tanks to increase their storage capacity; removal of obstructions in the channels which bring water to them from the catchment areas etc; repairs to step-wells and using defunct bore-wells and unused wells to put water back to aquifers etc are to be taken up with the active participation of people.
To facilitate these activities, states should open “Rain Centers” in each district– in Collectorates/Municipalities or GP offices. During this period, these Rain Centres will have a dedicated mobile phone number and manned by an engineer or a person well trained in RWHS. This centre act as a technical guidance centre to all in the district as to how to catch the rain, as it falls, where it falls.
No water to flow out of compound
All buildings in the districts should have rooftop RWHS. No water should run of the compound. The basic aim should be that “No or only limited water will flow out of the compound.”
Under the “Catch The Rain” initiative, all water bodies in the districts are to be enumerated, (checked with revenue records) and encroachments removed.