Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP) has been
under implementation since 1989-90 and was transferred to Do
LR along with the NWDB in July 1992. From 1 April 1995, the
scheme is being implemented on a watershed basis under the
common Guidelines for Watershed Development. The Programme
is expected to promote the generation of employment in the
rural areas besides enhancing people’s participation at all
stages in the development of wastelands- leading to
sustainable development and equitable sharing of the
benefits. It is a 100 percent Central sector scheme.
The broad objectives of the programme are:
Development of wastelands based on village/ micro-watershed
plans. The stake holders prepare these plans after taking
into consideration the capability of land-site conditions
and local needs.
Promoting the overall economic development and improving the
socioeconomic condition of the resource poor and
disadvantaged sections inhabiting the programme areas.
As per the Report of the Technical Task Group constituted by
the Planning Commission, 1987, the wastelands are the
degraded lands which can be brought under vegetative cover
with reasonable efforts and which are currently
under-utilized and the land which is deteriorating for lack
of appropriate water & soil management or on account of
natural causes. Broadly, the following are the causes of
Increasing biotic pressure on the fragile ecosystem
Population pressure, unplanned urbanization and rural
Break down of traditional institutions for managing Common
Lack of appropriate management practices
There are various estimates of total wastelands/degraded
lands in the country. The Department of Land Resources
follows the NRSA estimates. According to the latest
Wasteland Atlas of India brought out by the NRSA in May,
2000, out of 329.00 million ha. of total land, 63.85 million
hectares (20.17%) of the total area) are the wastelands
which are categorized as follows.
category wise details of Non Forest Wastelands are as given
(in lakh ha.)
|Upland with or without
Shifting cultivation land.
Barren Rocky/Sheet Rock.
Degraded pastures/grazing land.
Steep Sloping Area
Degraded land under plantation
On the recommendations of the Hanumantha Rao Committee, the
two Area Development Programmes and the development of
wastelands are to be taken up through community
participation following a watershed approach under common
guidelines with effect from 1st April, 1995. A watershed is
a geo-hydrological unit, which drains into a common point.
It is a project based, ridge to valley approach for in-situ
soil and water conservation, afforestation etc. and it
Focus on village common lands
Equity in sharing the benefits
Institutionalized community participation at the village
level for implementation and post project maintenance.
Emphasis on sustainable rural livelihood support systems
through Self-help groups and User groups
Capacity building as a vital component
Committee systems at the State and District level for
monitoring and implementation
Decentralized planning and decision making by the local
people of the watershed area
The major activities taken up under the Programme are:
Soil and moisture conservation measures like terracing,
bunding, trenching, vegetative barriers etc.
Planting and sowing of multipurpose trees, shrubs, grasses,
legumes and pasture land development
Encouraging natural regeneration in the programme areas
Promotion of agro-forestry and horticulture
Wood substitution and fuel-wood conservation measures
Measures needed to disseminate technology.
Training, extension and creation of greater degree of
awareness among the participants
Encouraging people's participation especially women
The projects under IWDP are generally sanctioned in areas
not covered by DDP and DPAP. The programme is being
implemented in 216 districts of the country. DoLR is also
initiating measures aimed at enabling a greater role for
Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Self-help groups (SHGs)
and user-groups particularly the landless belonging to the
Scheduled Castes (SCs) & Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other
backward classes, in watershed programmes.
IWDP is a 100% Central Sector Scheme. The cost norm at
present is Rs 4000/- per ha.
Physical and Financial Performance
Presently, 249 IWDP projects to treat total project area of
24.37lakh hectares are at various stages of implementation
in 28 states. The table at Annexure-XLVI indicates Statewise
area covered under the Programme. Similarly, the table at
Annexure-XLVII indicates details of the release of funds for
the implementation of the programme from 1995-96 to
2000-2001 (up to 31.1.2001).
As against a budget provision of Rs.82crores for IWDP in
the year 1999-2000, a sum of Rs.480crores [including Rs.350crores for the EAS (Watershed) and 10% earmarking for
the North Eastern States] has been allocated during the year
2000-2001. During the year 2000-2001, it is proposed to
sanction projects covering an additional area of about 8lakh hectares. Fifty seven new projects covering an area of
6.15lakh hectares have been sanctioned upto 31.1.2001. Out
of the allocated amount of Rs. 130crores, Rs.89.73crores
has been released as on 31.1.2001.
Watershed Projects Under EAS
Prior to 31.3.99, the Guidelines of Employment Assurance
Scheme (EAS) stipulated that 50% of the funds released under
EAS in the areas under DPAP and DDP and up to 40% of the
funds in other areas were required to be spent on Watershed
Development projects and other related activities. However,
as a part of an exercise aimed at rationalizing the
structure of various schemes, EAS was retained mainly as a
wage employment scheme and sanctioning of new watershed
projects was discontinued w.e.f. 1.4.99. The States had, in
the meanwhile, created liabilities in respect of Watershed
Development projects already sanctioned. The total liability
(including State share) for the completion of these
Watershed Development projects covering an area of 63.50lakh ha. worked out to about Rs.1500crores. The Government
decided that the Central share of the aforesaid amount may
be released to the States in three years. A sum of
Rs.301.55crores was released to the various States during
1999-2000. During the year 2000- 2001, out of total
provision of Rs.480crores under IWDP, a sum of Rs.350crores
is earmarked for the ongoing watershed projects under EAS
and the share of North Eastern States. A sum of Rs.223.37crores has been released to various States up to 31.01.2001.