World Bank Assisted Watershed Development Project
British Government Assisted (DFID) KAWAD Programme (Project Completed)
Swiss Government Assisted (ISPWDK) Project (Project Completed)
The total geographical area of Karnataka is 190.49 lakh Ha. Karnataka is predominantly a rural and agrarian State. Agriculture plays a key role in State's economy. Net cropped area is 107.90 lakh Ha. Out of this, 23.20 lakh Hat. is irrigated and 84.79 lakh Ha. of dry land has been treated under numerous watershed development programmes, by which productivity has improved, but there are more than 60 lakh hectares of land which required to be treated.
Honourable Chief Minister, during the course of his Budget Speech, earlier this year, had stated, inter alia, that watershed development would be one of the priorities of Government and indicated that the World Bank would be approached for sanction of a loan for taking up a comprehensive project for watershed development.
In pursuance of this assurance, the Watershed Development Department had prepared a Project-proposal, which was posed to the World Bank. The Bank agreed to participate in the Project, which is expected to have a total outlay of Rs.690.27 Crores. The Memorandum of Understanding in respect of the Project has since been signed by the Government of Karnataka, the Government of India and the World Bank.
Action has already been initiated to create awareness about the Project in the 10 sub-watersheds that have been selected for implementation during the first year. This task, along with capacity building, social mobilization and group-formation will continue until February-March, 2002. This activity will culminate in the formation of the Micro Watershed Management Groups. Thereafter, the planning and execution of works would be taken up, in April-May, 2002.
The World Bank-assisted Project will have the largest ever outlay and the most ambitious target of treating 1 million acres of land during a five-year period. A sum of nearly Rs.700 Crores will be spent in the 5 districts, during the five-year project period. This will be the largest ever investment in this sector in Karnataka State and one of the largest in the country.
In keeping with the concern of Government towards the weaker sections of the society, a sizeable portion of this amount will be spent on small and marginal farmers, women, landless persons, SCs, STs and other economically weaker sections.
One of the most unique features of this Project is that it will be completely participatory at every state. Hence, people will actually plan which areas should be treated at a point of time and what kind of treatment should be carried out. Then, they will actually execute the works and maintain the assets, subsequently. The people will also share the cost of and contribute towards the execution of every work under the Project. The Project focuses on peoples' development rather than mere physical treatment of the land. Great emphasis is also attached to the sustainability of the investments that are made under the Project..
The Project has been formulated keeping in view the experience that the State has acquired over a period of around two decades. Many lessons have been drawn from the implementation of watershed programmes in all districts of the State by the erstwhile Dry Land Development Boards and other Line Departments.
This Project is expected to be the trend-setter for Watershed Development both in the State and in the country. Hence, the progress made under the Project will be keenly monitored by Government of Karnataka, Government of India, the World Bank and other agencies that are concerned with watershed development.
Karnataka Watershed Development Project (KAWAD) is being implemented in the state with the assistance of British Government (DFID). The total outlay of the project is around Rs. 83.85 Crores. This project is implemented in the following districts and taluks..
At the state level this project is implemented and supervised by Karnataka Watershed Development Society, Bangalore.
In this programme districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur and Koppal are selected for Development. It was targeted to develop 30000 hectares of land with 28.73 crores in about 4 years. So far, pre-preliminary work of capacity building etc., is going on Negotiation is under way to launch the programme during 2001-2002.