Earth is our abode. All living beings including humans take birth on this earth and live on it. Earth is the basis of our life. We get air, water and food from the earth. It is not an exaggeration to say that the earth has given life to humans and all other living beings. But what did man give to the earth? The answer to this question is that man has not given anything to the earth, but has polluted it. The air has become poisonous by being polluted and the water is also getting polluted. The situation is so dire that the water of many rivers including the Yamuna is unfit for drinking. According to a study by the Central Ground Water Board, water at some places in 221 districts of 25 states and union territories has been found to be arsenic-rich.
Consumption of contaminated drinking water is affecting their health badly. People of such areas become vulnerable to contaminated water-borne diseases. According to government statistics, due to the groundwater crisis, about 50 percent of rural households in the country still do not have access to clean drinking water. So they are forced to drink contaminated water. People are not getting enough water in the country. The annual per capita water availability in the country is less than 1700 cubic metres. Based on the study of revaluation of water availability in the country based on the data taken from space, it is feared that the average annual availability of water per person for the year 2031 will come down to 1367 cubic meters, due to which the water crisis will become more serious. Will go
According to a report, only 4 percent of the total global water resources are available in the country, whereas 18 percent of the world’s total global population resides here. According to a report of the Central Water Commission, in the year 2010, 78 percent of the total water sources available in the country were being used for irrigation. Due to the water crisis, this rate will come down to about 68 percent by the year 2050. This is not a good sign.
It is noteworthy that about 198 million hectares of the country’s cultivable area has irrigation facilities available for almost half of it. Of this, 63 percent of the area is irrigated by underground water, while canal water is used to irrigate 24 percent of the area. In this, 2 percent of the area is irrigated with water from ponds and wells and other sources are used for irrigating 11 percent of the area. It is clear from this that Indian farmers still depend on underground water for irrigation. Hence ground water is over-exploited. Due to this, the underground water level is continuously falling. Water is the basis of life of living beings. No living being can survive without water. Due to drought and falling ground water level, water crisis has spread in many areas. To deal with this, water conservation is very important. During the hot summer, the problem of water arises in almost all the areas of the country, especially in the rural areas. Ponds also become dry. The water in the wells goes very low or they also dry up.
Due to this the villagers do not get enough water for use. In view of this problem, the Central Government has started Amrit Sarovar Yojana. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 24, 2022, on the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence. The objective of this scheme is to develop and rejuvenate at least 75 water bodies in each district of the country. Under this nationwide scheme, more than 75 ponds have to be constructed in each district of each state.
States will be able to get many benefits from Amrit Sarovar Yojana. Construction of ponds and renovation of old ponds will solve the water problem of the regional people. This will help in maintaining the ground water level during summer. The water of these ponds can be used for agricultural purposes. Apart from this, this water will also be used for animal husbandry. Water will also be available for drinking to abandoned animals and birds. Apart from this, due to the construction of ponds, there will be beautification at that place. Saplings of peepal, banyan, neem, ashoka, drumstick, mahua, jamun and jackfruit etc. will be planted on the banks of the ponds. Due to this, where the environment will be clean and there will be an increase in greenery, it will also promote tourism. This will strengthen the economy in the rural areas. These ponds can also be used for fish farming, makhana and water chestnut farming.
Under this scheme, a target has been set to construct more than 50 thousand ponds in rural areas. Each pond will be in an area of one acre, which will have the capacity to hold 10,000 cubic meters of water. Special care will be taken that it remains filled with water throughout the year. Through this Amrit Sarovar scheme, employment will be made available to the rural residents under MNREGA scheme. This will provide employment to the unemployed.
Recently, Prime Minister Modi has appreciated the achievement of developing about 40 thousand ponds in 11 months under Amrit Sarovar Yojana. Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said that a target has been set to build 50,000 Amrit Sarovar by August 15, 2023. It is noteworthy that Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22 April in the world to make people aware of environmental protection.
(The author is assistant professor at Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal.)
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