Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Atal Bhujal Yojana, involving an expenditure of Rs 6000 crore for the sustainable management of groundwater resources, on the occasion of 95th birth anniversary of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

According to the central government, the scheme will cover 8350 villages of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

PM Modi also announced Rohtang Tunnel connecting Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh and Jammu Kashmir, and connecting Manali with Leh, will now be known as Atal Tunnel.

“Water was a very important aspect for Atal ji, and was close to his heart. Whether it is Atal Jal Yojana or guidelines regarding the Jal Jeevan Mission, these are the important aspects to make water accessible to every household by 2024,” said PM Modi.

“On one side there is Jal Jeevan Mission through which the water will be supplied to every household, while on other, there is Atal Jal Yojana which will look for the areas where the ground water is on a very low level,” he added.

Addressing the issue of scarcity of water, PM Modi also said that in New India, the government is working on ‘five different levels’ to fight the water scarcity.

“Ministry of Jal Shakti has took the compartmentalized approach to dig out water and emphasized on the comprehensive approach. This monsoon itself we saw how the Ministry as well as people of India worked for the water conservation, which is commendable,” PM Modi asserted.

PM Modi also told that there is a provision in the Atal Jal Yojana in which those Gram Panchayats who will work better for the availability of water in their area, will get more amount under the scheme, so that they can perform even better.

Giving a report card on Congress’ work for the availability of water in rural areas, he said, “In 70 years, out of 18 crore rural houses, only 3 crore houses got the water, now we need to make it reach 15 crore rural houses in next five years.”

He also urged the rural people to chalk out a plan for water resources as well as create funds for the water resources. MLAs and MPs funds get money for this, and rural people should use it.

On Thursday, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told that the central government has approved on Tuesday the Atal Bhujal Yojana, a Rs 6000 crore scheme for the sustainable management of groundwater resources.

Read: Govt approves Rs 6000 crore Atal Bhujal Yojana for ground water resources which will cover 8350 villages

PM Modi will later in the day go to Lucknow where he will unveil the statue of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the occasion of his 95th birth anniversary.