NEW DELHI: Recycle and reuse will be the focus of Jal Shakti Abhiyan in urban areas where much of the used water is dumped into rivers and other water bodies while in rural areas the target will be to promote conservation and harvesting rainwater. The first phase of the massive campaign will start on Monday. The government has given a list of activities and check lists that top officials will have to keep in mind while leading the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. In order to ensure that the exercise does not end up just counting the number of pits dug up for recharging groundwater, the sites will be identified after studying the geomorphology of different areas with scientists and the impact of such exercises will be measured, officials said. Unlike the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, which was only meant for providing government services such as electricity and gas connection to people, particularly the poor, the Jal Shakti campaign will cover both rural and urban areas. “It will be a different exercise and we have been advised to plan our three visits in the next three months on weekends so that work here doesn’t get impacted. Experts from Central Ground Water Board will also be involved to guide the plans and activities,” said a source, who attended the first meeting of officers who have been made in-charges of the water-distressed districts last week. Sources said this exercise will be the beginning for preparing the plan to provide piped water to all households by 2024 which will focus on sustainable source of water. Currently, approximately 45% of the habitations across the country has access to piped water either with taps inside the house or through public tap. TOI has learnt that to bring tangible change, some templates during the campaign have been suggested. For example, for undertaking activities to increase the groundwater table of certain identified areas, the group of officers would be required to measure the increase in groundwater level post Jal Shakti campaign as compared to the baseline data. They would also be required to record the existing capacity of water bodies and would have to measure the increased capacity in cubic metres after the massive campaign. Even best performing district is also aimed at motivating the district level officers, who will actually drive the campaign.
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