Parliamentary report on Watershed Management
08, Jul 2018
Why in News?
- Parliamentary Standing committee has submitted a report Highlighting the delays in implementing watershed development projects under PMKSY.
- It has been noted that Lethargic response from the government and lock of implementation to be the cause.
What is Watershed Development and why it is important?
- It is a area of land that feeds all the water running under it and draining off it into a body of water.
The Place we live is a watershed which drains all the water to nearby lake/rivers. And in turn combining all such rivers and lakes which ultimately drains into the sea forms a watershed.
- Watershed management or development refers to management and conservation of surf ace and ground water resources, which includes conservation, regeneration and Judicious use of all resources.
Even afforestation and reforestation is an measure to protect watersheds building check dams, percolation dams etc.
- It recharges groundwater table.
- Restores water for drinking and other human proposes
- Protects bio-diversity of a region, it managed properly can restore biodiversity
- Restores soil Fertility and helps in soil conservation
- Helps fight climate change, and promotes sustainable agriculture.
Why Delay in Implementation?
- The Project works on an convergence basis which relies on synergy between difference ministries and agencies like Ministry of water resource and management, Ministry of Agriculture etc.
- Since the Government departments works individually, device steps are not taken.
- The Benefits are not sustainable for longer period for example after the water able is restored the farmer’s opt for water intensive crops like Sugarcane which results in depletion.
- Till 2016 the founding pattern was 90:10 with central government taking former value and state government letter. Presently the ration is changed to 60:40 moreover projects takes 3 to 8 Years for completion and requires even more time to show visible results.
- Detailed Project Report for 1,774 projects had not been prepared. It also noted lack of quality in preparation of Detailed Project Report, such as not taking into account challenges of a geographical location, and ways to overcome them.
- Expeditions efforts should be made to complete the project. 53% net sown area in our country is rainfed, and watershed component of PMKSY, According to its guidelines, should complete within 47 hrs. but between 2009-15 out of 8,214 Projects not even single project has reached closure.
- Budgetary allocation should be commensurate to the requirement of the project sanctioned.
- Better co-ordination with the states and rollback to old funding model of 90:10 can help.
- Credible government agencies with substantial expertise should be involved in preparation of project report taking into account different Challenges.
- Third party evaluation for evaluation for implementation and supervising the work will give better insight about the work.
- Expediting the selection of third Party will expedite the implementation.
- Objective of the PMKSY is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level, expand cultivable area under assured irrigation (Har Khet ko pani).
- Improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water, enhance the adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies (More crop per drop).
- Enhance recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices by exploring the feasibility of reusing treated municipal based water for peri-urban agriculture and attract greater private investment in precision irrigation system