Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Abdul Rehman Veeri has said that the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) provides a framework to integrate Natural Resource Management with community livelihoods in a sustainable way. He said that every possible effort needs to be put in for its effective implementation and to acquire maximum benefits from this significant programme.The Minister said this while addressing the Programme Officers of IWMP during a meeting convened to review the performance under the programme in Kashmir division.Secretary RDD Sheetal Nanda, Director Finance RDD S L Pandita, Chief Executive Officer IWMP Farooq Ahmad, Joint Director Planning RDD, Programme Officers IWMP and other concerned officials of IWMP attended the meeting.Impressing upon the officers associated with the implementation of IWMP, the Minister said that the aims and objectives of this programme only be fulfilled if we take it seriously and act positively as per the work plan prepared keeping in mind the relevance of works in the area.CEO IWMP Farooq Ahmad informed the meeting about the physical and financial achievements under the programme.
He gave the details of total no of projects sanctioned under IWMP, fund allocation, status of projects and work done liabilities etc.It was told that a total of 159 projects were approved by GoI in four batches with project cost of Rs 979.72 crore to treat an area of 653151 hectare under Watershed component of PMKSY. Upto ending April 2018, expenditure to the tune of Rs 177.88 crore has been made treating area of 118593 hectare, the meeting was informed.Availability of funds besides work done liabilities was discussed briefly district wise. All the POs gave the details of payment they have received against the work done and were directed to clear the liabilities before Eid.Veeri asked the POs to clear the past liabilities and to start with a new action plan. He asked them to submit the plan for 2018-19 at the earliest so that works are taken up accordingly.It was informed that Rs 75 crore has been allocated under the programme for the current year and works would be initiated after the finalization of action plan.Taking a strong note of slow progress in releasing the payments against work done liabilities, the Minister asked the POs to ensure that payments be released to the beneficiaries well before Eid so that new projects be taken up in current years plan.The Minister was also apprised about the role of Watershed Committee (WC) in implementation of IWMP.
The Gram Sabhas constitutes the WC to implement the Watershed project with the technical support of the Watershed Development Team (WDT) in the village.Watershed Committees acts as facilitators and payment is being made to them through Project Financial Management System (PFMS) ensuring full transparency in the system, CEO IWMP informed the meeting adding that the same is being monitored at all levels including GoI.He further informed that all the executed works are uploaded on Bhuvan Portal (Geotagged) which is being monitored by SLNA and DoLR, GoI.“There is a need to encourage village community towards sustained community action for the operation and maintenance of assets created and further development of the potential of the natural resources in the watershed”, the Minister asserted.The Minister asked for adopting a strong monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the implementation of this programme so that performance is seen on ground.The meeting also discussed about the manpower deputed for the implementation of this programme in the state with the duties assigned to them.