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Union Budget 2019: 'Har Ghar Jal' will ensure water in every rural household by 2024, says Nirmala Sitharaman as water crisis in India deepens

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden Union Budget speech, spoke about constituting a Jal Shakti Ministry, which will look after the management of water and will ensure 'Har Ghar Jal'. 

Union Budget 2019: 'Har Ghar Jal' will ensure water in every rural household by 2024, says Nirmala Sitharaman as water crisis in India deepens
Women fetch water from an opening made by residents at a dried-up lake in Chennai (Image Courtesy: Reuters)

New Delhi: As water crisis in India deepens, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden Union Budget speech, spoke about constituting a Jal Shakti Ministry, which will look after the management of water and will ensure 'Har Ghar Jal' (water to all). 

The Jal Jeevan Mission will converge with state government schemes to conserve water. "We have identified 1,592 blocks for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan," Sitharaman said while presenting the Union Budget 2019. 

The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation will look after the supply of water at the local level, rainwater harvesting, management of household water and supply of water to all rural households.

"The newly-set up Jal Shakti Ministry will look at the management of our water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner and will work with states to ensure 'Har Ghar Jal', to all rural households by 2024 under 'Jal Jeevan Mission'," the Finance Minister said. 

India is facing acute water shortage across several states, the worst-hit being Chennai. The capital city is facing a severe crisis with all four major reservoirs supplying water going bone dry, following deficit rainfall.

With the country facing water crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first 'Mann Ki Baat' session last Sunday, also urged the people to conserve every drop of water and to make it a mass movement akin to the Swachh Bharat mission. 

"There is no one way to conserve water. In different parts, different methods are adopted but the aim is to conserve every drop of water," PM Modi said while terming water as a gift from Gods. He also sought ideas from the people about water conservation.

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"There cannot be one formula across the country to save water. Share knowledge of traditional methods of water conservation. Use #JanShakti4JalShakti to upload your content relating to water conservation," the Prime Minister said.