Western Ghat Development Programme (WGDP)
A separate Western Ghats Development Programme (WGDP) was launched in 1974-75 as a part of the programme for the development of hill areas of the country. The delineation of the Western Ghats Region for inclusion in the Programme was settled in 1981 by the one-man Committee headed by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, the then Member-Incharge of the Hill Areas in the Planning Commission. The Programme is being implemented in 159 talukas comprising of the Western Ghats in five States viz. Maharashtra (62 talukas), Karnataka (40 talukas), Kerala (29 talukas), Tamil Nadu (25 talukas) and Goa (3 talukas).
The objective of the WGDP during the Fifth Five Year Plan, when the programme was introduced, laid emphasis on the economic well being of the population in hill areas and exploitation of the resources of the hilly region. The Sixth Plan stressed the need for a balance between beneficiary oriented and infrastructural development schemes, keeping in view the vital importance of ecological restoration and conservationThe financing pattern of Special Central Assistance (SCA) earmarked to WGDP is allocated among five States on the basis of 75% weightage to the area and 25% weightage to the population (except Goa in which case adhoc allocation of 5% of the total SCA is made, as Goa's share works out to be negligible by adopting the same criteria of weightage of area and population).
The project has been under implementation in Shimoga, Mysore, Hassan, Chickmagalur, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Belgaum, Uttara Kannada, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu and Dharwad districts. It covers 40 talukas in these 11 districts.
During 2005-06 it was planned to develop an area of 21,539 hectares with an outlay of Rupees 1443.22 lakhs, against which an area of 10224 hectares was developed by incurring Rupees 581.86 lakhs.