The Parthasarathy Committe was a Technical Committee on DPAP, DDP, IWDP Programmes constituted by the Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in 2006 and its report has attempted an exhaustive review of the experience of the watershed programme in India.
The Committee was expected to look into the watershed program implementation in the country on following aspects and suggest recommendations to make it more effective -
- To reassess and suitably modify the existing criteria for categorization of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas taking into account the changed climatic/biotic factors and identify the blocks for the implementation of DDP and DPAP
- To formulate criteria for prioritization of classified degraded lands to be developed under IWDP
- To identify the areas under DPAP, DDP and IWDP where existing watershed approach is not feasible for implementation and suggest alternative mechanisms to suitably introduce special provisions in the Guidelines for Watershed Development
- To examine the issues of people’s participation, alternative livelihoods, maintenance of assets and sustainable equity in sharing of resources and recommend strategies thereof for more effective delivery of benefits to the community under watershed programmes
- Impact Assessment of the existing Area Development Programmes and suggestions for modifications based on the observations
- To examine the issue of integrating DPAP, DDP and IWDP with their financial allocations as additionality with related area development and poverty alleviation programmes such as NWDPRA, National Wasteland Development Programme for degraded forest lands, Food for Work Programme, Employment Guarantee Scheme, etc. and recommend a suitable strategy for such convergence
- To examine the possibility and suggest ways of public-private partnership for increasing investment in DPAP, DDP and IWDP to develop the areas in a reasonable time-frame.
While traveling to a large number of watersheds, the Committee met the state governments, heard and saw the work of leading NGOs, support agencies, think-tanks and researchers on watershed development, met bilateral agencies such as Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and DFID and bodies such as Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The review has revealed a large number of areas where major improvements are called for in India’s watershed development programme.
Based on this review and consultations, the Committee recommended various measures to be taken up to maximize the effectiveness of the watershed program in improving the livelihoods of the resource poor. The recommendations and suggestions are on following themes -
- Issues regarding conceptualisation of the programme;
- Participation, equity and transparency;
- Appropriate end-uses of harvested water for sustainable livelihoods;
- Institutional issues;
- Capacity building;
- Possibilities of Public-Private Partnership (PPP);
- Administrative problems.
Read the report here