About Har Ghar Gangajal Scheme
- It is part of the Bihar government’s Jal, Jeevan, Hariyali scheme.
- It is a unique and ambitious initiative to provide Ganga water on tap in parched areas of the state that does not lie along the course of the river.
- Working of the project: Under the scheme, giant pumps will lift Ganga water from Hathidah near Mokama and supply it to about 7.5 lakh homes in the state’s main tourism destinations of Rajgir, Bodhgaya, and Gaya.
- It will harvest the excess water in the Ganga during the monsoon flooding season.
- The water will be stored in reservoirs in Rajgir and Gaya before being channelled to three treatment-and-purification plants, from where it will be supplied to the public.
Har Ghar Gangajal Yojana Need
- Rocky terrain: The area around Rajgir (in Nalanda district), which was the nucleus of the ancient kingdom of Magadh and is associated with the founders of both Buddhism and Jainism, is rocky and water-deficient.
- Depletion of Groundwater: Over the years, unplanned and indiscriminate use of groundwater has depleted subterranean reservoirs, lowered the water table, and affected the quality of the water in Gaya and Rajgir.
- A study by the Bihar Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) showed the average groundwater level in Gaya district had plunged from 30.30 feet in July 2021 to 41.50 feet in July 2022.
- According to Central Ground Water Board, water table in Gaya and Rajgir fell by between 2 and 4 metres between 2014-15 and 2020-21.
Significance of Har Ghar Gangajal
- Solve water shortages: It will solve water problems of regions that have for long depended on tankers of drinking water from adjoining districts to see them through the hot, dry season.
- It will aid in conserving floodwater, preventing wastage, and transforms it into safe, drinkable water.
- Reduce impact of flooding: Diversion of Ganga water during the monsoon season will help to reduce the impact of flooding along the banks of the river.
- Improve irrigation: Irrigation requirements will be fulfilled as the water level of these districts will improve due to storage of Ganga water.
- Maintaining Ecological Flow: Water for the scheme would be lifted only during the four months of the monsoon when the Ganga has excess water.
- Thus, diversion will not lead to depletion of the river, disturbance in its natural flow, or potential changes in its course.