Kiran, B. R. & Shankar Murthy, K
inland aquaculture production must increase from its current level of 2.5 million tonnes to 5 million tonnes by 2010. Indiamust intensify culture production methods for this increased production values to be achieved (Gopakumar 2003).India has got vast potential in marine, brackish water and Inland waters. Watershed areas are being increasedwith the new inbounded water of new hydal projects, major irrigation tanks, minor tanks, village ponds and pools, besides present rivers and irrigation canals.
WATERSHED PROGRAMME IN INDIA
Watershed development approach in India with government support started in mid 50s, but group efforts existed
even in early twenties. The first government scheme namely „Soil Conservation Works in the Catchments of River ValleyProjects (RVP)‟ was launched in 1962
-63 to control the siltation of multi-purpose reservoirs. The second Mega-Project
„Drought Prone Area Development Programme (DPAP)‟ started in 1972
-73 for drought-proofing the vulnerable areas andmitigating the impact of drought. Later in 1976-
77, „Desert Development Programme‟ (DDP) was also added for
development of desert areas. The DAC of MOA launched a scheme of propagation of water harvesting/conservationtechnology in rainfed areas in 19 identified locations in 1982-83. In October 1984, MoRD adopted this approach in 22other locations in rainfed areas. In these 41 model watersheds ICAR/SAUs were also involved to provide research andtechnology support. The scheme of National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) was launchedin 1990-91 in 25 States and 2 UTs based on twin concepts of Integrated Watershed management and sustainable farmingsystem. During IX Plan, the scheme was extended to three newly formed States. The scheme of NWDPRA has been
subsumed with “Scheme for Macro Management of Agriculture Supplementation/Complementation of the state efforts
through Work Plans in 2000-01. At present, the scheme is being implemented as a programme in Centrally SponsoredScheme of Macro Management of Agriculture in 28 States and 2 UTs. During the VIII Plan Ministry of RuralDevelopment (MoRD) launched a new initiative in 1994-95 incorporating the essential elements of WARASA guidelinesand providing for NGO participation as implementing agents. Number of projects assisted by bilateral donors andinternational funding agencies like World Bank were also launched in the 80s. Besides, a number of NGOs are alsoworking for Integrated Watershed Development Projects in different parts of the country (Orissa Watershed DevelopmentMission 2012).Watershed development in India has, made three important transitions. Firstly, there has been a shift from a top-down, command-and-control regulatory approach to a more people-centered, bottom-up and participatory approach, whichrecognizes that watershed protection and development is impossible to undertake and sustain successfully without theactive participation of local communities. Secondly, and related to the first, it has been realized that technical solutions thatnormally characterize watershed protection activities in India such as building of engineering structures, policing of forestsfrom local people, etc. are by themselves insufficient, and that social solutions involving collective action by thecommunities, and offering them suitable incentives to participate in watershed development and natural resourcemanagement, are far more sustainable in the long run. Thirdly, it has been accepted that watershed development is far moreeffective when done in an integrated and planned manner, following a logical ridge-to-valley approach, rather than inisolation by each government line department separately (DES Himachal Pradesh 2009; Himachal Pradesh WatershedDevelopment Mission 2009).
HISTORY OF WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA
About 60 per cent of total arable land (142 million ha) in India is rain-fed, characterized by low productivity, lowincome, low employment with high incidence of poverty and a bulk of fragile and marginal land (Joshi et al 2008).