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Budget 2020| FM Nirmala Sitharaman allocates Rs 3.6 lakh cr for Jal Jeevan Mission

Reiterated the government’s mission to ensure piped water connection to every household by 2024. FM Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech on today announced that the government will be allocating Rs 3.6 lakh crore to the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’.

The FM said that the government will soon announce a comprehensive plan to resolve water-stressed problems in 100 districts.

Referring to the Jal Jeevan Mission, she said measures were also being taken to recharge water sources, desalination and water harvesting.

India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history and millions of lives and livelihoods are under threat.

According to a Niti Aayog report, currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water.

The crisis is only going to get worse. By 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual loss in the country’s GDP

According to a report of the National Commission for Integrated Water Resource Development of erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), the water requirement by 2050 in high use scenario is likely to be a milder 1,180 billion cubic metres (BCM), whereas the present-day availability is 695 BCM. The total availability of water possible in country is still lower than this projected demand, at 1,137 BCM. Thus, there is an imminent need to deepen our understanding of our water resources and usage and put in place interventions that make our water use efficient and sustainable.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his second term has clubbed various water ministries into a single portfolio—Ministry of Jal Shakti— to deal with related issues, including polluted rivers and the shortage of clean drinking water.

Modi has said India needs to prioritise and make appropriate interventions to solve its water problems, according to a government statement. He has said water conservation and irrigation both require a massive effort, based on public participation.

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