You are on page 1of 5

Rural Development and


8th Sem, 4th Year
B. Planning
SPA Vijayawada


Drought - Prone Area Programme (DPAP) was launched by Central Government as a
part of Rural Works Programme in 1970-71, in 54 DPAP units spread over 13 states in
the country, according to Fourth Five year plan. Towards the end of Fourth Five Year
Plan, the programme was changed to Area Development Scheme. This program was
launched to tackle the special problems faced by those fragile areas, which are
constantly affected by severe drought conditions. The total area covered as drought
prone districts was 585,000 sq. Kms, with a population of 600 lakhs. The programme
covered about 12% of the, total population (1971 Census) and about 19% of the total
area of the country.
Drought is one of the most frequently occurring national disasters in India. With its
increased frequency and expanded coverage in the recent years, about one third of
the country is either drought prone or under desert areas. These areas are lagging
behind in agriculture and also in overall economic growth. They experience wide
year-to-year fluctuations in agricultural production and incomes and have a
relatively high incidence of poverty. Drought prone areas program came up by
considering that, it is necessary to formulate and implement an appropriate
development strategy, for the drought prone areas that represent a major factor
contributing to regional imbalances in development of the country. As compared to
other areas, the drought prone tracts are more vulnerable to ecological degradation,
leading to an increasing economic dependency and social deprivation.

Objectives of Programme:
The basic objective of the programme was to minimise the adverse effects of drought
on production of crops and livestock and productivity of land, water and human
resources ultimately leading to drought proofing of the affected areas. The
programme also aimed to promote overall economic development and improving
the socio-economic conditions of the resource poor and disadvantaged sections
inhabiting the programme areas. The programme aimed at promoting overall
economic development and improving the socio-economic condition of the resource
poor and disadvantaged sections inhabiting the programme areas through creation,
widening and equitable distribution of the resource base and increased employment

opportunities. The objectives of the programme were being addressed in general by

taking up development works through watershed approach for land development,
water resource development and afforestation/pasture development.

Delineation Criteria used for drought prone areas:

The delineation criteria adopted for deciding Drought prone areas were on basis of:
Incidence of rainfall over a period of time;
Extent of irrigated area in the district;
Environmental conditions like proximity to the irrigated tracts providing better
Availability of other avenues of employment in the same area;
Existence of schemes amenable to long-term economic development and;
Chronic liability of drought.
Initially, this programme laid emphasis on the construction of labour-intensive civil
works. But later on, it emphasised on irrigation projects, land development
programmes, afforestation, grassland development and creation of basic rural
infrastructures such as electricity, roads, market, credit and services. National
Committee on Development of Backward Areas reviewed the performance of this
programme. It was observed that this programme was largely confined to the
development of agriculture and allied sectors with a major focus on restoration of
ecological balance. Since growing population pressure was forcing the society to
utilise the marginal lands for agriculture, and, thereby causing ecological
degradation, there was a need to create alternative employment opportunities in the
drought prone areas. The other strategies of development of these areas included the
adoption of integrated watershed development approach at the micro-level. The
restoration of ecological balance between water, soil, plants, and human and the
animal population had to be a basic consideration in the strategy of development of
drought-prone areas. Planning Commission of India (1967) had identified 67 districts
(entire or partly) of the country prone to drought. Irrigation Commission (1972)
introduced the criterion of 30 percent irrigated area and demarcated the drought
prone areas. Broadly, the drought prone areas in India spread over a semi-arid and
arid tract of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Western Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada region of
Maharashtra, Rayalseema and Telangana plateaus of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka
plateau and highlands and interior parts of Tamil Nadu. The drought-prone areas of
Punjab, Haryana and north-Rajasthan were largely protected due to the spread of
irrigation in these regions.
The schemes proposed were necessary to be labour intensive in nature and were to
be regarded as additive to the Plan, and the non-Plan schemes were to be integrated
with other relevant development programmes in the district for ensuring full impact.
Furthermore, the districts were expected to have another set of pre-planned schemes

with well- defined priorities for execution in the event of occurrence of a famine
while the above programme was being implemented. The general order of priorities
suggested was Medium and Minor irrigation projects, Soil conservation &
afforestation; and Village and District roads. It was assumed that for every Rs. 1 crore
of expenditure of programme, employment for 25-30,000 persons would be

Present Scenario of DPAP 1970

DPAP (Drought Prone Area Programme), which was a major intervention for the
development of drought prone areas, has undergone a lot of changes during the past
few decades. In 1989, Integrated Watershed Development Programme (IWDP) was
launched under the support of National Wasteland Development Board for the
development of wastelands on a watershed basis. In this context, In 1994, a Technical
Committee under Chairmanship of Professor C.H. Hanumantha Rao was appointed
to appraise the impact of DPAP / DDP and suggest measures for improvement. The
committee recommended a common set of operational guidelines and expenditure
norms for the three programmes of Ministry of Rural Development. Accordingly, the
Guidelines for watershed Development were framed and brought into force from 1st
April 1995. These guidelines were changed in 2001 and further in 2003 and were
named Haryali Guidelines. Later, the 11th Plan has stressed upon developing
concerted action plans for rain fed areas in close consultation with the State
Governments. Accordingly, the Common Guidelines for Watershed Development,
2008 have been issued and made effective from 1.4.2008. Since 26.2.2009, the three
watershed programmes of the Department of Land Resources namely DPAP, DDP
and IWDP have been consolidated as a comprehensive programme named
Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP). Integrated Wastelands
Development Programme So, at present, the Integrated Wastelands Development
Programme (IWDP), Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and Desert
Development Programme (DDP) are running as a consolidated single programme
named Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) in place of all the
above mentioned three Area Development Programmes. This programme comes
under Ministry of Rural Development at present.

Planning Commission(1981),Report on Development of drought prone
areas,New Delhi

Author, (2015), planning and Sustainable Development in Indian

context(Chapter 9), New Delhi, NCERT

Gurjar, R.K. (eds.), (1994), Drought Planning in India, Printwell, Jaipur

Web materials:
DPAP, http,//

Government of India (2000), Contingency Plan for Drought 2000,