NEW DELHI, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank has approved the Indian government's scheme "Atal Bhujal Yojana" worth 6,000 crore Indian Rupees (around 902 million U.S. dollars) in a bid to recharge and maintain groundwater level in some areas which are facing a severe water crisis in coming years.
The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.
The "Atal Bhujal Yojana" has been formulated by India's Ministry of Water Resources to address the criticality of groundwater resources in a major part of the country. The scheme aims to improve groundwater management in priority areas through community participation.
Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit over 8,000 villages in over 70 districts in various states.
Funds under the scheme will be provided to the states for strengthening the institutions responsible for groundwater governance, as well as for encouraging community involvement for improving groundwater management, to foster behavioral changes that promote conservation and efficient use of water.
Groundwater in India provides for about 60 percent of the country's irrigation needs, 85 percent of rural drinking water requirements and 50 percent of urban water needs. As per 2013 data, 4 percent of groundwater assessment units in the country are in a critical state and 10 percent in a semi-critical state due to over-exploitation and contamination.