New Delhi, March 22:

Speaking on the occasion of World Water Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that there will be more participation of women in the Jal Jeevan Mission.

“There will be more women participation in Jal Jeevan Mission as no one understands its worth better than them. It’s the first time since independence that a government has worked so seriously for water testing. Over 4 lakh women trained for (rain) water testing during corona,” said PM Modi while addressing the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” campaign virtually.

“Just one and a half years ago, out of 19 crore rural families in our country, only 3 and a half crore households got water from the tap. I am happy that after the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, about 4 crore new families have got tap connection in such a short time,” the Prime Minister added.

“The better India manages rainwater, the less will be the country’s dependence on groundwater. Therefore, campaigns like ‘Catch the Rain’ are very important and need to be successful,” PM Modi added.

“Be it Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana or Prime Minister Agriculture Irrigation Scheme; be it ‘Per Drop More Crop’ campaign or Namami Gange Mission; be it Jal Jeevan Mission or Atal Bhujal Yojana, everyone is working fast to achieve the goals,” the Prime Minister said.

“Apart from the conservation of rainwater, the management of river water in our country has also been discussed for decades. To save the country from this water crisis, it is now necessary to work fast in this direction. The Ken-Betwa Link Project is also part of this vision,” he said.

The Prime Minister launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign on World Water Day today via video conferencing.

The signing of the historic memorandum of agreement between the Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh also took place, in the presence of the Prime Minister, to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project.

The campaign will be undertaken across the country, in both rural and urban areas, with the theme “catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”. It will be implemented from 22nd March 2021 to 30th November 2021 – the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country, a government statement said.

It will be launched as a “Jan Andolan” to take water conservation at the grass-root level through people’s participation. It is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater, it added.

After the event, Gram Sabhas will be held in all Gram Panchayats of each district (except in the poll-bound states) to discuss issues related to water and water conservation. Gram Sabhas will also take ‘Jal Shapath’ for water conservation.