New guidelines for watershed management in India

New guidelines for watershed management in India

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New Delhi, India: Government of India has issued new guidelines to boost productivity under the watershed management development programmes (WMDPs) in India with special focus on proper utilisation of heavy funds. A special focus would be on the utilisation of modern tools and IT techniques such as GIS facilities and remote sensing data. Each district will be equipped with IT and domain professionals.

Through the new plan, each ministry at the centre would set up a central nodal agency comprising experts to ensure smooth flow of funds to district watershed development units (DWDUs) and allocate budgetary outlay among the states by adopting criteria evolved in the guidelines. The nodal agency would ensure suitable system of monitoring, social auditing and impact assessment and support capacity-building programmes.

The Dehra-Dun-based Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute (CSWCRTI) has been made the nodal organisation for capacity building of the watershed programmes, its Director V N Sharda said. “Our main role will be for capacity building and develop new model villages under the watershed programme,” Sharda added.

The national rainfed area authority (NRAA) has also been given the task to develop strategic plans for watershed development projects and prepare state-specific manuals. The NRAA will also provide technical input and expertise and organize conferences and workshops.

A national level data centre and national portal are also being set up under the NRAA for preparing country-wide data and archival data for programmes. A state level nodal agency (SLNA) has also been proposed. The central funding will be directly transferred to SLNA and not through state departments.

Source: Business Standard