10 cities across the country are getting ready to revive defunct borewells, neglected heritage stepwells and other shallow aquifers in a pilot project to recharge the groundwater as well as mitigate flooding. The pilot project will be executed under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0.
GS II: Government policies and Interventions
Dimensions of the Article:
- Key Highlights of the Pilot Projects
- AMRUT – Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation
- AMRUT 2.0 – Second Phase Objectives
Key Highlights of the Pilot Projects
- The pilot projects are being implemented in 10 cities across India, including Jaipur, Gwalior, Dhanbad, Kolkata, Rajkot, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai.
- These cities were selected based on their historical dependence on shallow aquifer systems and the interest of local urban bodies in participating in the project.
- The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), ACWADAM (Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management), and Biome Environmental Solutions are the technical partners for the project.
- The pilot projects aim to recharge shallow aquifers, defunct borewells, and neglected stepwells to replenish groundwater resources and mitigate flooding in urban areas.
Advantages of Shallow Aquifers:
- Shallow aquifers, ranging from 3 to 5 meters in depth, can be recharged relatively quickly and with less energy compared to deeper aquifers.
- Once recharged, the water from these aquifers can be used by local communities, including informal settlements that rely on shallow aquifers for water supply.
Need for the Project:
- While Indian cities primarily rely on surface water supply, approximately 40% of the water supply comes from groundwater.
- Groundwater levels are depleting rapidly, necessitating the need for recharge.
- India is the largest global user of groundwater, as highlighted in the United Nations World Water Development Report 2022.
Addressing Water Scarcity and Flooding:
- By recharging groundwater, these pilot projects aim to tackle both water scarcity and flooding issues in urban areas.
- Recharging groundwater can help maintain a sustainable water supply and reduce the burden on surface water sources.
AMRUT – Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation
- Provide basic civic amenities and improve the quality of life, especially for the poor and disadvantaged.
- Ensure access to tap water supply and sewerage connection for every household.
- Develop green spaces and well-maintained parks to increase the amenity value of cities.
- Reduce pollution by promoting public transport and non-motorized transportation options like walking and cycling.
- The mission covers 500 cities, including all cities and towns with a population of over one lakh and notified Municipalities.
Achievements of AMRUT:
- Added 1.34 crore household water tap connections and 102 lakh sewer connections, benefiting over 4 crore people, ensuring water security.
AMRUT 2.0 – Second Phase Objectives:
- Improve sewage and septic management.
- Make cities water safe by ensuring no sewage drains into rivers.
- Focus on enhancing sewerage and septic management to make all Indian cities water secure.
Targets of AMRUT 2.0:
- Provide 100% coverage of water supply to all households in around 4,700 urban local bodies, providing 2.68 crore tap connections.
- Achieve 100% coverage of sewerage and septage in 500 AMRUT cities, providing around 2.64 crore sewer or septage connections.
Principles and Initiatives of AMRUT 2.0:
- Adoption of circular economy principles.
- Promotion of conservation and rejuvenation of surface and groundwater bodies.
- Data-led governance in water management.
- Technology Sub-Mission to leverage global technologies and skills.
- Conducting “Pey Jal Survekshan” to promote competition among cities.
Expansion and Impact:
- AMRUT 2.0 extends coverage from 500 cities in the first phase to 4,700 cities and towns.
- It is expected to benefit more than 10.5 crore people in urban areas.
-Source: Indian Express