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PM Modi launches historic Jal Shakti Abhiyan

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New Delhi, Mar 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the PM Modi launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign. Today is World Water Day.

The historic MoU to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project, the first project of the national perspective plan for interlinking of rivers, will also be signed by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh chief ministers at the event.

PM Modi launches historic Jal Shakti Abhiyan

The PMO said in a statement that 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 March 22 to November 30 - the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country.

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It will be launched as a ''Jan Andolan'' (public movement) to take water conservation at the grassroot level through people''s participation. It is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater, the PMO said.

After the event, gram sabhas will be held in all gram panchayats of each district (except in poll-bound states) to discuss issues related to water and water conservation. Gram sabhas will also take ''Jal Shapath'' (oath) for water conservation, it added.

The Ken Betwa link project agreement heralds the beginning of inter-state cooperation to implement the vision of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to carry water from areas that have surplus water to drought prone and water deficit areas through the interlinking of rivers, the PMO said.

This project involves transfer of water from Ken to Betwa River through the construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the lower Orr project, Kotha barrage and Bina complex multipurpose project.

It will provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectare, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 MW of hydropower.

The PMO said the project will be of immense benefit to the water starved region of Bundelkhand, especially to the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh.

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    It will pave the way for more interlinking of river projects to ensure that scarcity of water does not become an inhibitor for development in the country, the PMO said.

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