Understanding Atal Bhujal Yojana through the program guidelines

The program envisages promoting panchayat led groundwater management and behavioural change with a primary focus on demand-side management.
 Community participation is expected to facilitate bottom-up groundwater planning process to improve the effectiveness of public financing and align implementation of various government programs on groundwater in the participating states (Image: Water Alternatives, Flickr Commons) Community participation is expected to facilitate bottom-up groundwater planning process to improve the effectiveness of public financing and align implementation of various government programs on groundwater in the participating states (Image: Water Alternatives, Flickr Commons)

Groundwater fulfills the drinking water requirements of nearly 85% and 50% of the rural and urban Indian population, respectively. 65% of the total irrigated area utilizes groundwater. It also caters to the water needs of the industrial sector in India. However, this intensive and unregulated extraction and utilization of groundwater has led to a sharp and severe decline in the groundwater levels. To arrest the decline in groundwater levels, Atal Bhujal Yojana or Atal Jal - perhaps India’s largest community-led groundwater management program to date - was launched in December 2019. 

It will be implemented across 8353 Gram Panchayats across 7 States of India i.e. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, and the selection of blocks was done using a challenge method. The program is based on PforR model (Program for Results) which drives the fund allocation under the program. Of the total 6000 crores allocated to the program (with 50% share of the World Bank), Atal Jal is designed to disburse funds to States only after they are able to demonstrate achievement of results on the ground using reliable data against predefined indicators called Disbursement Linked Indicators or DLIs. There are five DLIs in the program. 

 

Atal Bhujal Yojana: Overview

  

Atal Bhujal Yojana: Roles and responsibilities

 

   Atal Bhujal Yojana: Capacity building 

 

Atal Bhujal Yojana: Districts and blocks

Detailed program guidelines are available on the Ministry of Jal Shakti website.

Acknowledgments: To the participants of Programme in Rural Management (PRM), Batch 40 of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) for their help in simplifying the guidelines.

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