At one day Workshop on Strengthening of Integrated Watershed Management Programme guidelines organized by Rural Development Department, Cabinet Minister Anil Sharma revealed that the State Government had prepared and had submitted to Government of India a long term strategic and prospective plan of Rs 4668.71 crore for Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) for bringing 3112472 hectares of land under it.

The Minister said that under this project the State had so far been sanctioned Rs. 1035.16 crore for 131 such projects covering 6, 90,112 hectares area of land. Works related to livelihood generation had been given priority under the project so that people living in such areas could be benefited at large. Besides, Government was also converging IWMP with schemes like MGNREGA. He said that due to the efforts of State Government, the World Bank had sanctioned a Development Policy Loan of Rs. 1100 crore for Inclusive Green Growth and Sustainable Development in various fields such as Watershed, Industries, Tourism etc.

He said that the aim of this workshop was to strengthen and enhancing already existing guidelines of IWMP so that the beneficiaries may easily avail development Policy Loan adding that the Department had prepared a draft which contained some new objectives and activities. He urged the people to give suggestions so as to strengthen the Policy. He said that the main objectives of IWMP were to restore the ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, vegetative cover and water. The outcomes were prevention of soil erosion, re-generation of natural vegetation, rain harvesting and re-charging of ground water table, he added.

Dr. A.R. Sihag, Principal Secretary, Rural Development welcomed the Minister and detailed about the objectives of this workshop. J.C. Chauhan, Director, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj thanked the participants of workshop and said that their valuable suggestions would be useful for strengthening the IWMP guidelines. NGOs and senior officers were present in the workshop.