The Atal Bhujal Yojana is a Central Sector Scheme with a total outlay of Rs.6000 crore to be implemented over a period of 5 years.
It aims to improve ground water management through community participation in identified priority areas in seven States, viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States.
The scheme will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management.
Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore, 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and be repaid by the Central Government.
The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support.
Prime Minister Modi also honoured the contribution of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by naming the Strategic Tunnel under Rohtang Pass after him.
The historic decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 03, 2000 when late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.
The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002.
The 8.8-kilometre long tunnel is the world’s longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres.
It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres and save crores of rupees in transport costs.
The Border Roads Organisation worked relentlessly to overcome major geological, terrain and weather challenges.
The breakthrough from both ends was achieved on October 15, 2017.
The tunnel is now nearing completion and is a step in the direction of providing all weather connectivity to remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh which otherwise remained cut off from the rest of the country for about six months during winters.
Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh said the strategic tunnel under Rohtang Pass will provide all-weather connectivity to remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh and will be open to public by August 2020.
He further said that Tunnel is importance also because it takes into consideration of national security.