Rajiv Gandhi Mission on Watershed Development was
started in October, 1994. Presently 249 micro watersheds have been taken up under the
schemes of EAS, DPAP, IWDP and IJRY. Total of 1,47,066 hectares has been taken under
integrated watershed development with an estimated project cost of Rs 5277.00 lakhs. In
order to effectively launch the project, 12 governmental and 8 NGO Project Implementing
Agencies (PIA) were carefully selected. Using RRA/PRA techniques and thematic maps from
remote-sensing, action plans were prepared by P.I.As for every micro watershed.
Further more, the following activities were also taken up:
1 CREATION OF
At the district level Watershed Advisory Committee has been formed which monitors the
programme. It monitors and tries to resolve shortcomings in the programme every fortnight.
The Collector, PIAs, district level relevant departments and peoples representative
are a part of this committee. Watershed Development Teams for each P.I.A., consisting of
Block-level officials of various departments, were formed.
P.I.As also formed Self-Help Groups and User Groups
in watershed villages based on national guidelines. Watershed Development Committees and
Watershed Associations were formed and registered with DRDA, Jhabua. Presently 2181 Women
SHGs (Baira-ni-kuldis) are doing thrift activities in the watershed villages.
PREPARATION OF ACTION PLAN AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATION
Atmosphere building and peoples participation
were ascertained through numerous meetings and RRA/PRA techniques before taking up
preparation of the Action Plan. User Groups and Self-Help Groups were created to initiate
peoples involvement into Watershed activities and to use their knowledge and wisdom
in the preparation of Action Plan. Members of User Groups, Self-Help Groups and
representatives from Gram Panchayats were included in Watershed Development Committees.
Chairman were elected and secretaries selected for each WDC. Extensive land literacy
campaign was launched to find out various geographical, geomorphological and
geohydrological problems and situations. House-to-house contacts and PRA/RRA activities
were used to identify social, economical, ecological, geo-hydrological needs, problems and
perceptions of the villagers.
3 ATMOSPHERE BUILDING AND PUBLICITY:-
To inform and create awareness regarding watershed activities in the villagers,
effective use of "Kala Jathas" and street plays was taken up. Core group members
organised meetings for the villagers for watershed development activities to create
awareness. In every micro-watershed Self-Help Group and User-Groups were organised before
preparing the action plans. Exposure visits for farmers and field level staff were
organised to places within the district and also outside (like Ralegaon Shinde, Urli
Kanchan, Alwar etc.)
4 REPRESENTATION OF PEOPLES REPRESENTATIVES:
The president, Zila Panchayat is the patron of Watershed Advisory Committee at the
district level. District, Janpad and Gram Panchayats representatives are involved in
watershed development activities at all levels. People representatives help is taken
in PRA exercise and preparation of action plans also. Every Watershed Development
Committee necessarily includes three to four Gram Panchayat members.
SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION WORKS:
A very thoughtful and targeted approach to achieve effective ,
efficient and site-specific soil and water conservation was adopted. Ridge-to-valley
treatment was strictly followed. Contour trenches, staggered pits, gully control measures,
drainage line treatment alongwith fodder development and plantations of suitable species
were taken up on recharge zone. Contour bunds, earthen embankments, nalla bunds,
sub-surface dykes, percolation tanks and other water conservation and harvesting
structures were taken up in transition and discharge zone. Agronomic measures like
intercropping, intensive cropping etc. alongwith pasture development and silvi-pastural
activities were taken up on transition and discharge zone. Intensive SWC treatment work
has been completed on 13430.50 hectares.
6 FODDER DEVELOPMENT:
Fodder development has been promoted on private as well as
government land. Grassbeds, silvi-pasture and pasture development has been given emphasis.
2950 hectares of land has been taken up for fodder production. Stylosanthes hamata,
Dinanath ( Panicum Pediseletum), Sukli, Batodi are major fodder crops. Fodder development
provided immediate returns to the villagers, environ for biomass generation and soil
conservation. Most of the watershed villages have become self-sufficient in fodder and
7 PLANTATION ACTIVITIES:
Plantation on private and community lands have been given priority among the watershed
activities. To supplement these activities, soil working and seedsowing in vast expanses
has been taken up. Jatropa ( Ratanjot), Anona squamosa ( Sitaphal), Moringa oleifera (
Moringa), etc. in vast number have been taken up, through seed sowing. A large number of
fruit bearing species like Mengifera indica ( mango), Emblica officianalis (Amla),
Zizyphus jujuba (Ber), Psidium gujava (Guava) etc. have been taken up on private lands.
Multipurpose trees like Bombax cieba ( Samel) Pethocellebium dulce ( jungle jalebi),
Dendrocalamus strictus (Bamboo), Eucalyptus spp. , Citrus limon (lemon) have been taken
up. Energy plantations (high density) of 42.50 lacks plants of Acacia ferruginea ( safed
khair), Acacia nilotica ( Babool) have been taken on community plots. Approximately 32.00
lacks plants have been planted. Saplings have been raised in Kitchen gardens, SHG members
(65) , SHG nurseries (93) and PIA nurseries (12).
8 REGENERATION OF DEGRADED FORESTS:
Assisting and ensuring natural regeneration from dormant seeds, coppices and gap
planting has been taken up in 2900 ha. of degraded forest areas. Informal groups or
village forest committees under JFM have been protecting these areas for last 2 to 3
years. Approximately 27.12 lakhs plants are found to be regenerating in watershed areas
through social fencing by WDC.Tectona grandis (Teak), Butea monosperma ( Palash) etc. are
major coppicing species. Some teak plants are today 3-4 meters in height.
1.76 lakh ber-budding operations were successfully performed in 1996-97. These were
performed by trained volunteers from watershed villages.
COMMUNITY-ASSISTED WATER HARVESTING TANKS:
350 community assisted water harvesting tanks have been
constructed. All these tanks sites were selected by the villagers themselves. Without any
outside support, the villagers have successfully constructed these tanks with local
knowledge and wisdom. Villagers have contributed 50% of the total costs.
11 ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE OF GROUNDWATER:
Besides other water conservation and harvesting measures, 83
percolation tanks and 21 subsurface dykes have been constructed to artificially recharge
the groundwater. These structures are constructed on sites identified through remote
sensing maps and village transects. A major emphasis has been proposed in this regard for
the next two years. Water table in the watershed village has increased by 1 to 1.5 meters
12 BIOGAS AND NADEP:
Villagers having enough number of cattleheads were selected for biogas and Nadep so
that a good organic fertilizer resource could be created. Presently establishment of 231
biogas plants are in progress. Villagers have already constructed 1918 Nadep compost pits.
COMMUNITY-ASSISTED FALIA SCHOOLS/PORIAWADIS:
District has numerous falias (hamlets) dispersed over a large geographical area. To
cover the children in these far dispersed hamlets Gram panchayat supported schools and
Anganwadi have been opened. They are called as Falia-School and
"Poriawadi" respectively. Presently there are 62 "Falia- schools" and
141 poriawadis working in these watershed areas. The community pays the teachers/poriawadi
workers and maintains the organisations.
ENCOURAGING NON-TRADITIONAL ENERGY RESOURCES:
To save on the fuelwood requirements 9248 smokeless stoves (chullah) have been
distributed in the villages. These have been very popular. Similarly, 585 solar cookers
have also been distributed.
Prohibition of liquor has been tried in 223 hamlets of the district. A constant push
is given to the demand of prohibition from the community in all the watershed areas.
Similarly, Kulhadbandi (surrender of axe), Charaibandi ( stall
feeding) and Nasbandi ( Sterilization/family planning) etc. have also fetched
a lot of success. Prohibition has been totally achieved by the community in 19 hamlets.
Drip Irrigation Sets:
250 new Drip irrigation sets have been distributed among villagers to promote