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State govt to Integrated Watershed Management projects

Bhubaneswar: In a fresh step towards increasing productivity of poor, the state government has decided to implement Integrated Watershed Management Projects in backward districts along with the 14 IAP (Integrated Action Plan) Districts.

Action plan for this has been prepared at a high level meeting held here recently, official sources said today.

It has been decided that the blocks for these programmes will be selected as per Central government`s guidelines.

The main criteria for selection of blocks will be less than 35 per cent irrigation facility, higher poverty index, higher percentage of SC & ST population and higher percentage of small and marginal farmers, sources said.

The proposed districts are Bolangir, Deogarah, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Malkangiri, Nabrangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Sundargarh, a senior official said.

Six backward and drought prone districts selected as per guidelines are Boudh, Bargarh, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Dhenkanal and Khurda. There will be about 1,745 Micro Watersheds in all theses districts covering an area of 1,002,724 hectares.

The concerned authorities have been advised to adopt cluster approach in organization and management of micro-watersheds. Ten to 15 watersheds will be organised in to one cluster and one Project Implementing Agency (PIA) will be kept in charge of the cluster.

Each cluster will have two interrelated teams – Watershed shed Management Team (WMT) and Livelihood Support Team (LST) for providing guidance and handholding support to farmers. Each Micro-watershed will have Watershed Committee and Community Link Workers (CLW).

The objectives of the project will be grounded through grass root institutions like Common Interest Group (CIG), Users Group (UG) and Self Help Groups (SHG).

As per guidelines, Rs 12000 will be utilised for development of one hectare. Additional Funds can be supplemented by way of convergence form MGNREGS and other livelihood support schemes, sources said adding soil amendment would also be ensured by way of acid-soil treatment in watershed areas.

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