The World Bank-assisted ‘National Watershed Management Project’ or ‘Neeranchal’ has received the approval for implementation by the Union Cabinet.
Neeranchal is designed to further strengthen and provide technical assistance to the Watershed Component of PMKSY, in particular and all components of PMKSY, in general and to enhance its delivery capacity.
Aim: The project aims to fulfil the watershed component of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMSKY) to reduce surface runoff of rainwater, increase groundwater levels and better water availability in rain-fed areas.
- The cost of the project is estimated at Rs. 2,142.30 crore of which the Centre will be pitching in with Rs. 889 crore while Rs. 182 crore will be provided by the respective State Governments. The remaining 50% of the project cost will be financed by a World Bank loan.
- It will be implemented across nine States – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
Neeranchal is primarily designed to address the following concerns:
- bring about institutional changes in watershed and rainfed agricultural management practices in India,
- build systems that ensure watershed programmes and rainfed irrigation management practices are better focussed, and more coordinated, and have quantifiable results,
- devise strategies for the sustainability of improved watershed. management practices in programme areas, even after the withdrawal of project support,
- through the watershed plus approach, support improved equity, livelihoods, and incomes through forward linkages, on a platform of inclusiveness and local participation.
About the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMSKY):
It is a central scheme that aims at providing irrigation facilities to every village in the country by converging ongoing irrigation schemes implemented by various ministries.
- Under the project, a dynamic annual fund allocation methodology, which mandates states to allot more funds to irrigation sectors for becoming eligible to access funds under this scheme, is being considered.
- The Scheme intends to focus on ‘end-to-end solution’ in irrigation supply chain by implementing the new programme in a “project mode” with decentralised state-level planning and execution.
- The programme architecture of PMKSY aims at a ‘decentralized State level planning and execution’ structure, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP).
- The programme will be supervised and monitored at the national level by an Inter-Ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister with Union Ministers of all concerned Ministries.
- A National Executive Committee (NEC) will be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog to oversee programme implementation, allocation of resources, inter ministerial coordination, monitoring and performance assessment, addressing administrative issues etc.
- At the state level the scheme will be administered by a State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) to be Chaired by the Chief Secretary of the respective States. The committee will have all authority to sanction the project and also monitor the progress of the scheme.
- At the district level there will be a district level implementation committee for ensuring last mile coordination at the field level.
- The state agriculture department would be the nodal agency for implementation of PMKSY projects.
Eligibility and funds:
- A state will become eligible to access PMKSY funds only if it has prepared the district irrigation plans and state irrigation plans and sustained an increasing expenditure trend in irrigation sector in state plan.
- The programme has an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore over a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20). The allocation for the current financial year is Rs. 5300 crore.
- PMKSY funds would be given to states as 75% grant by the central government and the remaining 25% share is to be borne by the state government. For northeastern region and hilly states, the funding pattern would be 90:10.