‘Watersheds are the key to poverty alleviation’
The best performing village watershed development committees and NGOs identified as project facilitating agencies under an Indo-German Watershed Development Programme were presented awards at a programme here on Thursday for conservation, regeneration and judicious use of natural resources in project villages.
The awards were given away by the Principal Secretary of Rural Development Reddy Subrahmaniam to village committees of Kohinoor (B) in Adilabad and Jangaon in Warangal district.
The Society for Health Agriculture and Rural People in Karimnagar was adjudged the best NGO.
The programme was implemented by NABARD in 36 watershed projects of Adilabad, Karimnagar, Medak and Warangal, covering 41,500 hectares and 126 villages.
Mr. Subrahmaniam said on the occasion that watersheds were the key to poverty alleviation as they bound all three components – land, water and people. The chief general manager of NABARD here, K.R. Nair, said the agency supported watershed development programmes in 5.2 lakh hectares of 16 districts. Financial assistance of Rs. 480 crore was extended to them.
A review of the programmes showed that there was significant rise in groundwater, increase in area under vegetation, fodder availability and milk production.
The Special Commissioner of Rural Development, C. Suvarna, called for watersheds not as projects but programmes that could be taken up even after completion of their funding.
The chairman of Deccan Grameena Bank, B.R.G. Upadhyay, and general manager of Reserve Bank of India R.N. Das also spoke.