Government of India
To involve village communities in the implementation of watershed projects under all the area development programmes namely, Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP), Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and Desert Development Programme (DDP), the Guidelines for Watershed Development were adopted w.e.f.1.4.1995, and subsequently revised in August 2001. To further simplify procedures and involve the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) more meaningfully in planning, implementation and management of economic development activities in rural areas, these new Guidelines called Guidelines for Hariyali are being issued.
New projects under the area development programmes shall be implemented in accordance with the Guidelines for Hariyali with effect from 1.4.2003. Projects under DPAP and DDP will be taken up in the blocks identified under the respective programme and projects under IWDP shall generally be taken up in the remaining blocks. Projects sanctioned prior to this date shall continue to be implemented as per the Guidelines of 2001.
The objectives of projects under HARIYALI will be: -
The projects will be sanctioned by the Department of Land Resources in the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India as per procedure in vogue. The Department may amend or relax this procedure from time to time. For interpretation of any of the provisions of these Guidelines, the Department of Land Resources will be the final authority. The Department may sanction special projects for treatment of wastelands in Special Problem Areas such as high altitude regions, land slide areas, slopes having more than 30 degree gradient or for any other specified technical reason. These projects need not necessarily be implemented through participatory mode and may be implemented on intensive treatment specific, departmental approach.
The following criteria may broadly be used in selection of the watersheds:
Some watersheds may encompass, in addition to arable land under private ownership, forest lands under the ownership of State Forest Department. Since nature does not recognize artificial boundaries of forest and non-forest lands in any watershed, the entire watershed is to be treated in an integrated manner. Though the criterion for selection of watersheds primarily remains predominance of non-forest lands, forest lands forming part of such watersheds may also be treated simultaneously as detailed below:
The date of sanction of the project shall be date of project commencement for all purposes. The project shall be implemented over a period of five years from the date of its sanction.
The projects under these Guidelines will be implemented, mainly, through the Zilla Parishads (ZPs)/District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs). However, wherever it is expedient in the interest of the Programmes, the projects can be implemented through any Department of the State Government or an autonomous agency of the Central Government/State Government with the approval of the Department of Land Resources, Government of India.
At the district level, ZP/DRDA shall be the nodal authority for implementation of all the area development programmes under the supervision and guidance of the State Government and the Government of India. It shall approve the selection of watersheds, the appointment of Project Implementation Agencies, approve the action plan/treatment plan of the projects etc. The CEO (ZP)/PD(DRDA) shall maintain the accounts of watershed projects and shall sign all statutory papers such as Utilization Certificates (UCs), Audited Statements of Accounts, Progress Reports, Bonds etc.
The ZP/DRDA will be entitled to recover funds from any institution/ organization/ individual and take appropriate action under law if the project is not properly implemented or funds are misutilised or not spent as per these Guidelines.
At the field level, the Gram Panchayats shall implement the projects under the overall supervision and guidance of Project Implementation Agencies (PIAs). An intermediate Panchayat may be the PIA for all the projects sanctioned to a particular Block/Taluka. In case, these Panchayats are not adequately empowered, then the ZP can either act as PIA itself or may appoint a suitable Line Department like Agriculture, Forestry/Social Forestry, Soil Conservation etc. or an Agency of the State Government/ University/ Institute as PIA. Failing these options, the ZP/DRDA may consider appointing a reputed Non-Government Organization (NGO) in the district with adequate experience and expertise in the implementation of watershed projects or related area development works as the PIA after thoroughly checking its credentials. Nonetheless, the State Governments should endeavor to empower the PRIs and build their capacities so that they may ultimately be in a position to take up the responsibility of independently implementing the watershed development projects as PIAs. An NGO-PIA shall normally be assigned 10-12 watershed projects covering an area ranging from 5,000-6,000 hectares. However, in exceptional and deserving cases, an NGO-PIA may be assigned a maximum of 12,000 hectares at a time including ongoing projects in all the Programmes of similar nature in a district and a maximum of 25,000 hectares in the State.
An NGO is eligible for selection as PIA only if it has been active in the field of watershed development or any similar area developmental activities in rural areas for some years. The quantum of funds handled by an agency in the last 3 years may be taken into account for their selection as PIA by the ZP/DRDA. The NGOs blacklisted by CAPART or other Departments of State Government and Government of India should not be appointed as PIA.
The Project Implementation Agency (PIA) will provide necessary technical guidance to the Gram Panchayat for preparation of development plans for the watershed through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercise, undertake community organization and training for the village communities, supervise watershed development activities, inspect and authenticate project accounts, encourage adoption of low cost technologies and build upon indigenous technical knowledge, monitor and review the overall project implementation and set up institutional arrangements for post-project operation and maintenance and further development of the assets created during the project period.
The ZP/DRDA shall, normally, be the authority competent to decide on the suitability or otherwise of the Project Implementation Agency (PIA) for taking up projects under the watershed development programmes. However, the State Government may consider changing the PIA in any of the projects on specific grounds with prior concurrence of the Department of Land Resources, Govt. of India.
Each PIA shall carry out its duties through a multi-disciplinary team designated as the Watershed Development Team (WDT). Each WDT should have at least four members one each from the disciplines of forestry/plant sciences, animal sciences, civil/agricultural engineering and social sciences. At least one member of the WDT should be a woman. Preferable qualification for a WDT member should be a professional degree. However, the qualification can be relaxed by the ZP/DRDA in deserving cases keeping in view the practical field experience of the candidate in the relevant discipline. One of the WDT members shall be designated as the Project Leader. The PIA will be at liberty to either earmark its own staff exclusively for this work, or engage fresh candidates including retired personnel, or take people on deputation from government or other organizations. The WDT shall be located at the PIA/Block headquarters/any other town nearest to the cluster of selected villages. Honorarium to the WDT members shall be paid out of the administrative costs as indicated in Annexure-I.
In order to avoid the tendency for over-emphasis on certain activities related to the speciality of the PIA selected, particularly in the case of Line Departments like Agriculture, Soil Conservation, Forestry etc., the ZP/DRDA should ensure that subject matter specialists from various Line Departments at the district and block levels are involved in the preparation of the plans.
Gram Panchayats will execute the works under the guidance and control of the Gram Sabha. In States where there are Ward Sabhas (Palli Sabhas etc.) and the area to be treated is within that Ward, the Ward Sabha may perform the duties of the Gram Sabha.
In 6th Schedule areas, where traditional Village Councils are functioning instead of Gram Panchayats, these Councils may be assigned the responsibilities of the Gram Panchayats/Gram Sabhas. In cases, where there is neither a Gram Panchayat nor the traditional Village Council, the existing provisions of Guidelines (2001) would apply.
The Gram Panchayat shall carry out the day-to-day activities of the project and will be responsible for coordination and liaison with the Watershed Development Team and the ZP/DRDA to ensure smooth implementation of the project. It shall be responsible for undertaking watershed development works and to make payments for the same.
The Gram Panchayat shall maintain a separate account for the watershed project and all receipts from ZP/DRDA will be credited to this account. This account shall be operated jointly by the Gram Panchayat Secretary and Gram Panchayat Chairman. The Gram Panchayat Secretary will be responsible for convening meetings of the Gram Panchayat and Gram Sabha and for carrying out all their decisions.He will maintain all the records and accounts of project activities. If required, the Gram Panchayat may appoint two or three volunteers to provide assistance to the Gram Panchayat Secretary in the implementation of activities as per the action plan/treatment plan of the watershed project. The volunteers will be paid honorarium as per Annexure-I
The Gram Sabha will meet, at least twice a year to approve/improve the watershed development plan, monitor and review its progress, approve the statement of accounts, form User Groups/Self-Help Groups, resolve differences/disputes between different User Groups, Self-Help Groups or amongst members of these groups, approve arrangements for the collection of public/voluntary donations and contributions from the community and individual members, lay down procedures for the operation and maintenance of assets created and approve the activities that can be taken up with money available in the Watershed Development Fund.
The Gram Panchayat shall constitute Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the watershed area with the help of WDT from amongst landless/assetless poor, agricultural labourers, women, shepherds, scheduled caste/scheduled tribe persons and the like. These Groups shall be homogenous groups having common identity and interest who are dependent on the watershed area for their livelihood. Separate Self-Help Groups should be organised for women, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes etc.
The Gram Panchayat shall also constitute User Groups (UGs) in the watershed area with the help of WDT. These Groups shall be homogenous groups of persons most affected by each work/activity and shall include those having land holdings within the watershed areas. Each UG shall consist of landholders who are likely to derive direct benefits from a particular watershed work or activity. The UGs shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance of all the assets created under the project through which they derive direct or indirect individual benefits.
To take care of plantations on public/ community/ Panchayat lands, the Gram Panchayats may engage local unemployed youth from BPL families as Van Rakshaks on honorarium, which will be paid out of the administrative costs prescribed in Annexure-I. The Van Rakshaks and volunteers shall not be treated as employees of the Gram Panchayat/ PIA/ ZP/ State Government/ Government of India. The honorarium of Van Rakshaks may be increased or decreased by the Gram Panchayat keeping in view the survival rate of plantations. The Gram Panchayat shall also ensure usufructs for these Van Rakshaks
Community Mobilization and Training are pre-requisites for initiating development work in watershed projects. Prior sensitization and orientation training on Watershed Project Management should be imparted to all concerned functionaries and elected representatives at the district, block and village levels before they assume their responsibilities. In case ZP/ DRDA/ Line department is the PIA, it may involve NGOs for community mobilization and training. For this, approval of ZP/DRDA should be taken.
A meeting of the Gram Sabha/ Ward Sabha shall be convened for preparation of the Action Plan/ Watershed Treatment Plan, on the basis of the information generated from the benchmark survey of the watershed areas and detailed PRA exercises. After general discussion, the Gram Panchayat will prepare a detailed Action Plan/ Treatment Plan for integrated development of the watershed area under the guidance of the WDT and submit the same to the PIA. The WDT should utilize various thematic maps relating to land and water resources development in the preparation and finalization of the Action Plan/ Watershed Treatment Plan. This Action Plan shall necessarily mention the clear demarcation of the watershed with specific details of survey numbers, ownership details and a map depicting the location of proposed work/activities. The PIA, after careful scrutiny, shall submit the Action Plan for Watershed Development for approval of the ZP/DRDA. The approved plan shall be the basis for release of funds, monitoring, review, evaluation etc. by the ZP/DRDA, State Government and Central Government. The Action Plan/Watershed Treatment Plan should be prepared for all the arable and non-arable land including degraded forestlands, government and community lands and private lands. The items, inter-alia, that can be included in the Action Plan/Watershed Treatment Plan are:
While preparing the watershed treatment plan, the Gram Panchayats should give emphasis to rain water-harvesting activities and undertake massive plantation works on community as well as private lands. Where private lands are involved, these should belong, predominantly, to SC/ST and small/marginal farmers. Focus should be on employment and income generation activities that benefit the rural poor in the watershed project area. Impounded rainwater could also be used for income generating activities like fisheries.
While preparing the detailed action plan, technical requirements and feasibility of appropriate biophysical measures are to be carefully worked out by the WDT for long-term sustainable interventions for the entire area of the watershed. The Action Plan should specify, among others, the following:
While preparing the detailed Action Plan/Treatment Plan, the Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat, under the technical guidance of WDT, shall evolve proper Exit Protocol for the watershed development project. The Exit Protocol shall specify a mechanism for maintenance of assets created, augmentation including levy and collection of user charges, utilization of the Watershed Development Fund etc. Mechanism for equitable distribution and sustainability of benefits accrued under the watershed development project should also be clearly spelt out in the Exit Protocol. While approving the Action Plan for the watershed, the ZP/DRDA shall ensure that the detailed mechanism for such Exit Protocol forms part of the Action Plan/Treatment Plan.
Transparency under the Programme would be promoted by various agencies as follows:
The present cost norm is Rs 6000 per hectare. This amount shall be divided amongst the following project components subject to the percentage ceiling mentioned against each: -
General cost norm for watershed development projects will be as per Annexure-I. Cost estimates for each work item and project activity shall be worked out as per Standard Schedule of Rates (SSR) approved by the State Governments in representative areas.
Central Share of funds shall be released to the ZPs/ DRDAs in five installments over a period of 5 years. The State shall also release their corresponding share to the ZPs/ DRDAs accordingly. Further breakup of these installments is given in AnnexureII.
the first installment of Central funds shall be released along with the Project Sanction
unconditionally, further installments shall be released when the unutilized balance is not
more than 50% of the previous installment released. The relevant release proposal should
be submitted by the ZP/DRDA to the Department of Land Resources, through the State
Government, along with Quarterly Progress Reports and Audited Statement of Accounts of the
previous year. In addition, proposal for
release of second installment shall be supported by details concerning village-wise area
taken up for treatment, Project Profile, Action Plan approved by ZP/DRDA and other
documents called for as and when necessary. The ZP/DRDA shall release funds to the PIAs
and the Gram Panchayats within 15 days of receipt of funds from the Central and State
One of the mandatory conditions for selection of villages in Watershed Development Programmes is peoples contribution towards Watershed Development Fund (WDF). The contributions to WDF shall be a minimum 10% of the cost of works executed on individual lands. However, in case of SC/ST and persons identified below the poverty line, the minimum contribution shall be 5% of the cost of works executed on their lands. Contribution to the Fund in respect of community property may come from all the beneficiaries, which shall be a minimum of 5% of the development cost incurred. It should be ensured that the contribution comes from the beneficiary farmers and is not deducted from the wages paid to the labourers who are engaged to treat the private lands. These contributions would be acceptable either in cash/ voluntary labour or material. A sum equivalent to the monetary value of the voluntary labour and materials would be taken from the watershed project account and deposited in this Fund. The Gram Panchayat shall maintain the Watershed Development Fund separately. The Chairman and Secretary, Gram Panchayat will operate the WDF account jointly. Individuals as well as charitable institutions should be encouraged to contribute generously to this Fund. The proceeds of this Fund shall be utilized in maintenance of assets created on community land or for common use after completion of project period. Works taken up for individual benefit shall not be eligible for repair/maintenance out of this Fund.
The Gram Panchayat shall impose user charges on the User Groups for use of common utilities like water for irrigation from village tanks/ponds, grazing from community pastures etc. While one-half of the user charges so collected may be credited to the WDF for maintenance of assets of the projects, the remaining one-half may be utilized by the Panchayat for any other purpose as it may deem fit.
The Gram Panchayat will set up a revolving fund not exceeding Rs. one lakh to be given as seed money for vocational development by the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) at a rate not exceeding Rs.10,000/- per SHG for undertaking income generating activities. This seed money must be recovered from the SHG members in a maximum of 6 installments on monthly basis. This could be reinvested in the same or other SHGs.
As the Watershed Development Programmes aim at holistic development of watershed areas, the convergence of all other non-land based programmes of Government of India, particularly those of the Ministry of Rural Development would enhance the ultimate output and lead to sustainable economic development of the village community. The ZP/DRDA, therefore, shall take all possible measures to ensure convergence of other programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development such as the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) and the Rural Drinking Water Supply Programme in the villages chosen for the implementation of the watershed development projects. It would also be worthwhile to converge programmes of similar nature of the other Ministries e.g. Health & Family Welfare, Education, Social Justice and Empowerment and Agriculture, as also of the State Governments, in these villages.
The general cost norms for watershed development projects shall remain as per AnnexureI. However, the ZP/DRDA shall explore and encourage availing of credit facilities provided by banks or other Financial Institutions by the SHGs, UGs, Panchayats and individuals for further developmental activities in watershed areas.
The Gram Panchayat shall submit a quarterly progress report to the PIA after it is scrutinized and approved by the WDT. The PIA shall submit quarterly progress reports to the ZP/DRDA for further submission to the DoLR through the State Govt. At district level, ZP/DRDA shall monitor the implementation of the projects. At the State level, Secretary of the Department concerned shall be responsible for regular monitoring of these projects as well as mid-term and final evaluation of projects. The Department of Land Resources may also appoint independent institutions/ individuals to carry out concurrent as well as post-project evaluations/ impact studies of the watershed development projects. District and State level Vigilance and Monitoring committees may also review the progress of the watershed projects.
may be addressed to the following:-
WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS MAY BE SANCTIONED
AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED BY THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FROM TIME TO TIME. THE PREVALENT RATE WITH EFFECT FROM 1ST
APRIL 2000, IS Rs. 6,000 PER HECTARE.
OF PROJECT FUNDS BY ZP/DRDA TO
The website belongs to the Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. The content of the website is provided by Department of Land Resources, and developed & hosted by National Informatics Centre, New Delhi, India