India shares 16% of the world
population, while its land is only 2% of the total geographical area of the world.
Naturally, the pressure on the land is often beyond its carrying capacity. Therefore, the
productive lands, especially the farmlands in the India are in the constant process of
various degrees of degradation and are fast turning into wastelands. At present,
approximately 68.35 million hectare area of the land is lying as wastelands in India. Out
of these lands, approximately 50% lands are such non-forest lands, which can be made
fertile again if treated properly. It was unprotected non-forestlands, which suffered the
maximum degradation mainly due to the tremendous biotic pressure on it. In the last 50
years it is Indias lush green village forests and woodlots have been deforested to
the maximum. It is precisely to restore this ecological imbalance by developing the
degraded non-forest wastelands, Govt. of India had created the Department of Wasteland
Development during July,1992 under the Ministry of Rural Development, which has been
subsequently reorganized and renamed Department of Land Resources, with a broader mandate.
National Wasteland Development Board was established in 1985 under the Ministry
of Forests and Environment mainly to tackle the problem of degradation of lands,
restoration of ecology and to meet the growing demands of fuel wood and fodder at the
national level. During the Seventh Five Year Plan, the strategy adopted by the National
Wasteland Development Board emphasised more on tree planting activities rather than
Community Participation for wasteland development, In the year 1992, the new Department
under the Ministry Of Rural Development (now Ministry of Rural Areas and Employment) was
created and the National Wasteland Development Board was placed under it. The Board was
reconstituted in August 1992 and was made responsible for mainly development of wastelands
in non forest areas in totality by involving local people at every stage of development.
It aims at creating a scenario where the Government acts as a facilitator and the people
at the grass root level become the real executioner of the programme. Major programme
implemented for improving the productivity of waste & degraded lands keeping in view the
poverty, backwardness, gender & equity is Integrated Wasteland Development
A degraded Wasteland
WASTELAND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (IWDP).
The degradation of
environment in the fragile Indian sub-topical eco-system is basically attributed to:-
adequate investments and appropriate management practices.
of Population growth and high incidence poverty in rural areas.
of National Resources.
break-down of traditional institutions for managing common property resources and failure
of new institutions to fill the vacuum.
Erosion & Land Degradation
of natural resources
in Species Diversity
Increase in the extent of Wastelands
of wastelands mainly in non-forest areas aimed at checking land degradation , putting such
wastelands of the country to SUSTAINABLE use & increasing bio-mass availability
especially that of fuelwood , fodder , fruits, fiber & small timber. Government of India is taking up this colossal task through its INTEGRATED WASTELAND
DEVELOPMENT PROJECT SCHEME (IWDP) by revitalizing & reviving village level
institutions & enlisting people's participation. It is people's own programme which
aims at giving them actual decision making powers in terms of project implementation &
It is one
programme which is making sincere efforts towards the empowerment of the people so that a
sense of collective responsibility can be evolved among them. The new guidelines for
watershed development provides a paradigm shift in the traditional approach where the role
of the Government is changed from that of governance to facilitation. The institutional
arrangements envisaged in the Guidelines can be seen as a true reflections of the
Agenda 21 where the sustainability comes through the involvement of people & the local
bodies. The approach of watershed development in a holistic manner automatically strikes a
prudent balance between environmental concerns & developmental aspirations. The
efforts being made under the guidelines can be termed as sincere & honest as here the
survival of life itself is at stake with the watershed development rather than the quality
of life itself as compared to similar situations in the developed countries. In fact , the
effective community control has been an integral part of the Indian social fabric which
was fragmented by the colonial rule. This programme is an effort towards its restoration
& a small step in the achievement of this goal which might turn into a big leap with
the support from the people.
WHAT IS WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT ?
development refers to the conservation regeneration and the judicious use of all the
resources natural ( like land, water plants, animals) and human within the
watershed area. Watershed Management tries to bring about the best possible balance in the
environment between natural resources on the one side and man and animals on the other.
Since it is the man which is primarily responsible for degradation of environment,
regeneration and conservation can only be possible by promoting awakening and
participation among the people who inhabit the watersheds.
WHY WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT ?
Man and his environment
are interdependent. The changes in the environment directly affect the lives of the people
depending on it. A degraded environment means a degraded quality of life of the people.
Environmental degradation can be tackled effectively through the holistic development of
the watershed. A watershed provides a natural geo-hydrological unit for planning any
Villagers during a meeting on Watershed
A Check Dam
land which can be brought under vegetative cover, with reasonable effort, and which is
currently under utilised and land which is deteriorating for lack of appropriate water and
soil management or on account of natural causes.
programme does not focus solely on uncultivable wastelands because such lands are:
Details of India
Area fit for
Area under Crops
Area under forest
Degraded Area in
Degraded Area with
Too degraded to recoupe in isolation
Cost of treatment is very
expensive and economical
are too remote from the village through protection of vegetative measures and
participation of local people is
Total: 638518.31 sq. kms
There is a close relationship between the
environment and the community living within that area as the community derives sustenance
from it. Increase in biotic pressure leads to over-exploitation and degradation of natural
resources. Paucity of resources also leads to internal conflict giving opportunity to
others to exploit the situation. It is thus necessary for people to realize the intrinsic
relationship between population, poverty and degraded environment they live in. the poor,
in the developing country like India are left with no option but to degrade their own
environment for their very own survival.
Still, it is only they who can restore the health
to environment thus ruined, outside actors can only facilitate but never substitute for
stake holders. Hence, there can be no sustainable natural resources management unless it
involves all inhabitants of the affected areas in an active manner and development plans
are formulated and executed by them.
Integration of indigenous technologies with
development is vital. Rural peoples knowledge and the technological advancements are
complimentary in their strengths and weaknesses. Combined together, they may achieve what
neither would achieve along. Low cost locally available technology with suitable
intervention by latest advancements yields best solution.
It is clear that the
watershed development cannot be done in isolation. It is a natural entity and may contain
different types of lands namely, forest lands, community lands, government lands or
private lands. These lands can be treated on "ridge to valley" approach. A land
lying in a valley cannot be improved if the land at upper reaches is not treated.
Treatment of land in a scattered manner will not lead to wasteland development. Mere
treatment of land is not enough. Land and people cannot and should not be viewed in
isolation. So the best possible strategy would be treating the land by empowering the
people who live in it. It is watershed plus approach which takes care of holistic
development. Therefore, the entire watershed community is to be involved for the
integrated development of watershed and the assets created in such an effort are to also
be maintained through the people of the watershed community in order to ensure
sustainability. Peoples participation also ensure conservation and development of
Common Property Resources. Besides when people decide what they have to do their stake in
development become more pronounced leading to their intense involvement. This involvement
in decision making is the key to success which brings sustainable development. Hence
peoples participation is the approach for the purpose.
Wastelands Development Project (IWDP) Scheme
This scheme is under
implementation since 1989-90, and has come to this Department along with the National
Wastelands Development Board. The development of non-forest wastelands is taken up under
this Scheme. The scheme provides for the development of an entire micro watershed in an
holistic manner rather than piecemeal treatment in sporadic patches.. The thrust of the
scheme continues to be on development of wastelands.
The basic objective of
this scheme is an integrated wastelands development based on village/micro watershed
plans. These plans are prepared after taking into consideration the land capability, site
condition and local needs of the people.
The scheme also aims at
rural employment besides enhancing the contents of people's participation in the
wastelands development programmes at all stages, which is ensured by providing modalities
for equitable and sustainable sharing of benefits and usufructs arising from such
The major activities taken
up under the scheme are:
In situ soil and
moisture conservation measures like terracing, bunding, trenching, vegetative barriers and
drainage line treatment.
Planting and sowing of
multi-purpose trees, shrubs, grasses, legumes and pasture land development.
agro-forestry & horticulture.
Wood substitution and
fuel wood conservation measures.
training & extension.
participation through community organization and capacity building.
Drainage Line treatment
by vegetative and engineering structures
Development of small
water Harvesting Structures.
degraded forest and non forest wasteland.
conservation of common Property Resources.
To restore the ecological balance in the degraded
watersheds through sustained community action, mass mobilization is needed. The programme
can only succeed when the community is motivated enough to realize that the programme is
not only for eco-restoration through watershed development but also to addresses their
other pressing socio-economic needs. The activities under this community organization
include organizing Self Help Groups and User Groups, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)
exercises, awareness camps, exposure visits & programmes on literacy, family welfare,
social services, income generating activities etc. giving small contributions to SHGs or
other village institutions like mahila mandals/ youth clubs/ anganwadis which are
considered important for people participation.
The idea is rapport building with the people at
grass root level and PIA. The people must feel that the programme belongs to them and its
success depends on them only. Once the people realize that it is they who own the
programme, the sustenance of the project evolves.
One of the notable features of this component is the flexibility
available to the PIAs (Project Implementing Agencies). There is a provision for entry
point activities for trust building exercise and speedy community organization. Under this
component they can even take up those works which are not directly related to conservation
and wasteland development. Certain works of great priority and importance to villagers
such as repairing and construction of community and panchayat houses, sanitation
improvement, provision of drinking water school building etc. can be taken up. Effective
community organization is important to establish credibility of the Watershed Development
Team and create a rapport with the village community who is ultimately going to own and
implement the programme even after withdrawing the Government machinery.
THE NEW GUIDELINES FOR WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT
The IWDP scheme is being
implemented on the basis of new Guidelines for Watershed Development from 1.4.1995. The
new common Guidelines envisage the bottom up approach whereby the Users Group
themselves decide their work programme.
strength of the Guidelines lies in the decentralization of decision making process by
involving local Panchayati Raj Institutions, NGOs, Government Departments and the watershed
community at the grass root level It is an effort on the part of the Govt. to remove the
stumbling blocks that have delayed the process of development. In fact , the initiatives
taken by the DoWD aim at establishing a system under which village people can actually
involve themselves in planning, implementation and monitoring of watershed development
programmes. In preparation of the Watershed Development Plan, Users and Self Help Groups
and other people directly depending on the watershed are actually involved.
Another strength of these
guidelines lies on the flexible approach followed in the method of release of funds, the
area to be covered in each watershed as well as choice of components.
The new guidelines attempt
to make the projects sustainable by establishing Watershed Development Fund and involving
people in deciding equity issues and usufruct sharing mechanism.
FEATURES OF GUIDELINES FOR WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT
Recommended by Hanumantha Rao Committee
Applicable to All Area
Came into effect from Ist
Recharging Wells in IWDP Projects
Common Guidelines for Watershed
Effective from 1.4.1995.
Cost norms Rs. 4000 per ha.
through Institutional Arrangements
All area development
schemes on watershed development basis
Strong technical and
and involvement of Panchayati Raj Institution
Development of village
THE OLD AND NEW GUIDELINES
Initially, Department of Wastelands Development sanctioned 128 projects for
Wastelands Development in various districts of India under Old guidelines. These
guidelines envisaged a fixed work programme to be followed by District Rural Development
Agencies/Zilla Parishads. Components for each project were designed by the PIAs which used
to be sanctioned at the Central level.
1.4.1995, Common Guidelines for Watershed Development were adopted with a view to involve
watershed community at all levels of project implementation right from project formulation
till its completion. The decision making and funds disbursement powers are given to the
people under these Guidelines.
Development through holistic development of Degraded watershed.
of people through Institutional arrangements
Planning from below bottom
through peoples participation.
distribution of Usufructs.
To make the programme successful, proper Institutional
arrangement has been provided in the Guidelines from state level to village level. These
institutions help in making the programme broad based, sustainable and equitable. These
institutions are given below:
STATE WATERSHED PROGRAMME AND REVIEW
WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT TEAM
WATERSHED COMMITTEE (WC)
SELF HELP GROUPS
Watershed Programme Implementation and Review Committee
is an apex organisation at a state level under the chairmanship of Chief
Secretary/Addl.Chief Secretary/APC. Representatives of prominent NGOs, SIRDs, Heads of
Department of related Departments are also member of the Committee. The Committee
undertakes monitoring, review and evaluation of Watershed Development projects. It is an
important link between DRDAs and Department of Wastelands Development. Success of
programme depend on functioning of State Watershed Programme Implementation and Review
i. District Rural Development
Agency/ZP:- DRDA/ZP is a key institution in the
programme execution. The project is sanctioned in favour of the DRDA and funds are
released to it directly from Government of India. The DRDA is responsible for successful
implementation of the project as per guidelines and submission of various reports and
returns to DoWD as well as State Government.
ii. Project Implementing Agency:-
PIA is an organisation having sufficient exposure and experience in the field of community
organsiation as well as watershed development activities. These organsiations can be
reputed NGOs having proven credibility or technical officers like DFO, Soil Conservation
Officer, Horticulture Officer, etc. The PIA is an important link between the villagers and
the DRDA. It imparts technical know how to the villagers with the help of Watershed
Development Team and ensures that programme is executed as per Guidelines and funds are
spent judiciously. It compiles information from Watershed Committees and send to
iii. Watershed Development Team:-The Watershed Development Team is a
multi-disciplinary team responsible for technical and financial supervision of the project
activities. The team consists of field level officials drawn from various disciplines like
forestry, soil conservation, horticulture, social sciences etc. These officials are key
functionaries in sensitisation of Self help Groups/User Groups and villagers at large.
iv. Watershed Development
Watershed Development Association (WA) consists of all members of the
village whose land is situated in the watershed area called user group (UG) and all those
members who drive sustenance from the watershed area called self help group
v. Watershed Committee:- Watershed Committee
(WC) is the key institution at Watershed level consisting of about 2-3 representatives,
each of UG, SHG, Panchayat and women etc. Committee also appoints a Watershed Secretary
preferably a local man graduate from the same area.
Sanctioning of Project
Scheme is 100% Grant-in-Aid from Government of India. The projects are sanctioned on
getting basic information from DRDAs about the watershed to be treated and capability of
the PIA and over all situation in the area. A well laid criteria for selection of
watersheds has been provided in para 27 of the Guidelines. The watersheds selected for the
projects should be as far as possible contiguous and there should be preponderance of
wastelands. Acute shortage of drinking water, low wage rates and non over lapping of
watersheds with any other project are other requirements.
detailed project having action plan suggested by the Government officials, the project is
sanctioned after obtaining basic information in respect of project areas/watersheds and
detailed action plan is prepared by the villagers themselves under the guidance of
Watershed Development Team
Under IWDP scheme the
projects are sanctioned in non DPAP/DDP areas. Normally, not more than two projects are
sanctioned in a district. The
after getting satisfied that there is a need of watershed development, and that there are
suitable PIAs to implement the project, send the project proposal to DoWD. DoWD after
proper scrutiny of proposal, in consultation with Internal Finance Division sanctions the
project in favour of DRDA/ZP concern and first instalment of allotment is released in
favour of DRDA by telegraphic transfer.
DRDA flow to Watershed Committees who open an account in the nearest bank to be operated
jointly by WDT member and local man i.e. Secretary of WC. The Watershed Committee is the
primary unit which is directly involved in implementation of the programme right from
preparation of action plan and check measurements of works and payment of wages. The WC
also decides usufruct sharing mechanism and post project sustenance arrangements.
The WC also maintains an account called Watershed Development Fund
Account, where contribution realised from the members of Watershed Associations are
deposited for utilisation in post project maintenance of assets. Contribution in shape of
labour, cash and kind are valued and kept in interest bearing account.
Funding Mechanism and Flow of Funds
OBJECTIVES OF TRAINING
Implementation of the Wastelands Development
aspects of the Wastelands Development.
& Monitoring of Wastelands Development Projects.
Empowering the Masses
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF
Experience in implementation of
watershed development projects as PIA
Library and Availability of Communication
Technology and other
Facilities for imparting Training.
Faculties for training
with adequate qualification
Ability to arrange field
Linkages with other
academic and research institutions involved in watershed development.
Training of User Groups
of Watershed Development
Equity and Sustainability
Inputs - GIS & Role of Remote Sensing in Watershed Development
Panchayati Raj Institutions
of women & weaker Sections of Society.
VARIOUS LEVELS TO BE TRAINED
State Watershed Programme Implementations & Review Committee Members, Head of line
Level-CEO of Zila Parishad, Project Directors, District Rural Development Agencies and line
Block Level - BDOs &
Line Deptt. Officers, Ext. Officers and Village Development Officers
Agencies and 'would be' PIAs
(Watershed Committee) Members
Self Help Groups and
Villagers in General
The projects under IWDP Scheme aim
at sustainability in the long run. This is achieved through the establishment of Watershed
Development Fund which takes care of past project maintenance and sustenance. This fund is
meant to sustain the maintenance of the assets created during the course of project
implementation so that the people in the watershed area continue to reap the benefits even
after the completion of the project.
Further, the village level institutions such as
Watershed Association/Watershed Committee remain in position even after the PIA withdraws
from the project after its completion. These institutions have intrinsic strength as they
are self constituted and lead by natural leaders in the villages.
The institutional arrangements envisaged in the
guidelines ensure sustainability through the following :
Constitution of watershed dev. fund
Involvement of panchayats
Involvement of self help
groups, user groups, women & weaker sections
Community needs taken care
Sustainable use of Water Resources
CONSTITUTION OF SELF HELP GROUPS
CREATION OF REVOLVING FUND
GREATER ACCESS TO INCOME
SHARING OF BENEFITS BY
ASSETS WITH WEAKER SECTIONS
OPPORTUNITIES FOR LANDLESS AND WEAKER SECTION
IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY OF WASTELANDS
IMPROVED AVAILABILITY OF
FUEL-WOOD AND FODDER
INCREASE IN WATER TABLE
REDUCTION IN MIGRATION
IMPROVEMENT OF ECONOMIC
STATUS OF THE PEOPLE