Jhabua

Rajiv Gandhi Watershed Mission

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Rajiv Gandhi Watershed Mission
 

INTRODUCTION:

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.A’s for every micro watershed. Further more, the following activities were also taken up:

ACTIVITIES

        1  CREATION OF WATERSHED COMMITTEES
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 people’s 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 SHG’s (Baira-ni-kuldis) are doing thrift activities in the watershed villages.

       2   PREPARATION OF ACTION PLAN AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATION

Atmosphere building and people’s 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 people’s 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.

        5   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 forage.

        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.

        9  BER-BUDDING:
1.76 lakh ber-budding operations were successfully performed in 1996-97. These were performed by trained volunteers from watershed villages.

        10   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.

        13 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.

        14   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.

        15  PROHIBITION:
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.

        16 Drip Irrigation Sets:
250 new Drip irrigation sets have been distributed among villagers to promote horticultural activities.

 
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