Cabinet okays Rs.2,142 cr National Watershed Management Project

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) The cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Watershed Management Project (NWMP) to ensure access to irrigation for every farm, union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

The NWMP will be a component of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) and will ensure access to irrigation for every farm and efficient use of water (Per Drop More Crop), he said following the cabinet meet.

“The total outlay of the project (Neeranchal National Watershed Project) which is done with the World Bank’s assistance is Rs.2,142 crore,” he said, adding, “The government’s share is Rs.1,071.15 crore (50 percent) and the rest is the loan component from the bank.”

“The project will be implemented in nine states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana,” he said.

The decision taken at the cabinet meet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will bring about institutional changes in watershed and rain-fed agricultural management practices in the country, a government statement said.

The project will also build systems which will ensure watershed programmes and rain-fed irrigation management practices are better focussed, and more coordinated and have quantifiable results.

These systems will also devise strategies for the sustainability of improved watershed management practices in the areas, even after the withdrawal of project support, the statement said.

“The programme will lead to reducing surface runoff of rainwater, increasing recharge of ground water and better availability of water in rain-fed areas resulting in incremental rain-fed agriculture productivity, enhanced milk yield and increased cropping intensity through better convergence related programmes in project areas,” it said.

“The erstwhile ‘Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP)’ was implemented since 2009-10 by the Department of Land Resources (DoLR), for supporting watershed development in 28 states. From 2015-16 onwards, the IWMP will be implemented as the Watershed Component of PMKSY,” the statement added.

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