(a) whether the Union Government has made any evaluation of the watershed projects after completion of four years of the Eleventh Five year Plan;

(b) if so, the outcome thereof and the details of the shortcomings found thereon;

(c) The measures taken/being taken by the Government to overcome these shortcomings; and

(d) The other steps taken by the Government to achieve the targets set for the aforesaid projects?

Answer given by the minister


(a) to (d) A statement is laid on the Table of the House.

Statement referred to in reply to part (a) to (d) of the LokSabha Starred Question No. 159 due for reply on 01.12.2011

(a) A study titled `A Comprehensive Assessment of Watershed Programmes in India` was entrusted to International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) jointly by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation and Department of Land Resources in 2006. The ICRISAT has submitted the report in 2008. The Department of Land Resources also assigned a Study on impact of watershed projects sanctioned and completed in the period 1998-99 to 2001-2002 to National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) in 2008. The Study covered 837 watersheds spread over 121 districts in 9 States. The NIRD has submitted the report in 2011. Another evaluation study of 1827 micro-watersheds across 111 districts sanctioned and completed during the period1995-96 to 2002-03 has been assigned to different agencies like State Institute of Rural Development (SIRDs)/ ICAR Institutes/Agriculture University in 2009. Evaluation Reports in respect of 37 districts have been received in the Department. The reports in respect of the remaining districts are awaited. The Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development in its 2nd Report on Demands for Grants (2009-10) of the Department of Land Resources has inter-alia recommended that the Department of Land Resources should undertake a comprehensive study to ascertain the impact of watershed development activities on areas like agriculture, employment, increase in ground water recharge etc. Accordingly, NIRD, Hyderabad has been requested to undertake a Comprehensive Study of Impacts of Investments in 947 micro-Watershed Projects, sanctioned and completed between 1.4.2002 to 31.03.2005, spread over 28 States to NIRD in 2010. The report of NIRD on the study is still awaited.

On recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development, the Department of Land Resources had assigned the work of analysis and documentation of studies conducted by different agencies like ICRISAT, NIRD, TERI etc. to LalBahadurShastri National Academy of Administration, Mussorie (LBSNAA) in 2010. The LBSNAA has submitted the report in 2011. The report has been examined and recommendations accepted by DoLR.

(b) A summary of outcomes/findings of the Evaluation/ Impact Assessment Studies are given in the Annexure-I.

(c) The main measures taken/being taken by the Government to overcome these shortcomings are given in the Annexure-II.

(d) The monitoring of the progress of projects sanctioned under various schemes of the Department is accorded very high importance and is carried out in a systematic manner through quarterly progress reports, utilization certificates, Audited Statement of Accounts, etc. The Department has also launched an on-line monitoring system in 2007- 08. The progress of the watershed programmes is also monitored by organizing periodical Regional Review Meetings/ Conferences with State Governments officials under the Chairmanship of Secretary (LR). The progress is also reviewed in a Project Directors Conference organized annually by the Ministry. With a view to monitor the quality in implementation of programmes of the Ministry including watershed programmes, the Vigilance & Monitoring Committees have been constituted with Members of Parliament and elected representatives of the people in the State Legislatures and Panchayati Raj Institutions.

For IWMP projects, a new Management Information System (MIS) has been introduced. The Department had awarded a pilot project for technology support for developing GIS- based monitoring for the Department of Land Resources in Bhilwara District of Rajasthan, to Madhya Pradesh Forest Department during July 2010. This will enable the Department to monitor the watershed programmes through GIS systems, on near-real time basis through map based visualization of the works undertaken in the field. The pilot project has been extended to one District in Rajasthan (Jaipur) and three Districts in Nagaland (Dimapur, Kohima and Peren).