Status of integrated watershed management programme (IWMP) in Himachal Pradesh and its role in poverty alleviation
Pawan Garga, Rakesh Kumar Sharma
Poverty is a global dialog. Poverty eradication is considered integral to humanity’s mission for sustainable development. The purpose of the present study was to examine the status of integrated watershed management programme (IWMP) in Himachal Pradesh and its role in poverty alleviation. Structured interviews and self-developed questionnaires for beneficiaries and coordinators of concerned programme were used for data collection. Results showed that monitoring and evaluation process is very slow in IWMP in Himachal Pradesh. People’s participation is also very low in Shimla districts as compare to Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh. Non-governmental organisation (NGOs) provides technical support in implementation of IWMP which is not sufficient. Watershed coordinators put suggestion that village level watershed committees are not formed according to common guideline of IWMP. In Hamirpur district IWMP starts working in 2000. Total 11 projects are running in the district. Block development officer, agriculture department are the major implementing agencies for watershed projects. IWMP are operating in 135 panchayats of Hamirpur district. Total 75621 hectare area is treatable under watershed programme. In Shimla watershed management programme was started in 1999. 43 project works are running in 10 blocks of Shimla district. Total treatable area in Shimla district is 201273 hectare with total project cost of 24916.6 lakhs. 224 panchayats are covered under watershed management programme. Eight Watershed projects are running in the 3 blocks of Kinnaur district. 45 panchayats are covered under the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP). Total treatable area under watershed programme is 23500 hectare with total project cost of 3525 lakhs. The scheme IWMP played significant role in poverty alleviation in Himachal Pradesh as survey was conducted to assess the improvement in irrigation, increase in agriculture production and positive impact on the income of people. The most of people in all the three districts responded positively that this scheme has made positive improvements in all the above mentioned indicators. In Hamirpur, about 82 percent responded positively that this scheme has made significant improvements in irrigation system. In Shimla about 76 percent respondents reported that IWMP played significant role in improving the irrigation system of the district. In Kinnuar Districts about 80 percent respondents stated in favour of it.