Secy RDD reviews implementation of MGNREGS-IWMP convergence plan

SRINAGAR, MAY 09: Secretary, Rural Development Department (RDD) and Panchayati Raj, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, reviewed the status of implementation of convergence plan between the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (WDC-PMKSY 2.0) here today.
Dr. Shahid emphasized that the convergence between MGNREGS and IWMP stands as the flagship project of the department. He asked all the Assistant Commissioners Development (ACD’s) to focus on supplementing IWMP’s supplementary Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) with comprehensive convergence plans, ensuring optimal utilization of resources. He stressed on the need for improvisation at various levels to ensure that additional projects align with the objectives of comprehensive watershed management.
He emphasized that NRLM activities should be undertaken through convergence with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in all future IWMP projects where Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of IWMP will have to be prepared.
The Secretary said it is essential to include and clearly indicate these activities in the DPR after consultation with relevant officials from the Mahatma Gandhi NREGS, watershed committees, and Gram Sabha. He mentioned that for long term benefits from a watershed development program, appropriate post-project management must be in place. He said that post-project management can proceed smoothly if there is convergence with a program like MGNREGS. He said that through strategic planning and interdepartmental collaboration, significant progress has been achieved, with three tiers of discussions conducted with Block Development Officers (BDOs), department heads and secretaries.
Dr. Shahid underscored the need to ensure convergence plans align seamlessly with district priorities, including food security, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Horticulture and Agriculture Development Plan (HADP). He said that in many districts of Jammu and Kashmir, a concerning trend has emerged where development initiatives have overlooked the critical concept of catchment areas, particularly in valley regions. He reiterated the importance of adhering to watershed management principles and ensuring judicious allocation of resources.
The Secretary said that through collaborative efforts and strategic planning, the path towards sustainable development and inclusive growth is steadily being paved.
Additional Secretary, Rural Development Department, Waseem Raja, shared a detailed presentation on the significance of convergence between the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and Watershed Management in light of Annual Master Circular /MGNREGA Guidelines. He emphasized the necessity for a comprehensive assessment of entire watersheds in Gram Panchayats (GPs) to address issues such as soil erosion, rainwater retention, and afforestation. He highlighted the significance of preparing watershed plans in line with the concept of ridge-to-valley treatment, recommending the use of satellite imagery and GIS technology for planning. He also outlined the importance of training and supporting technical personnel from MGNREGS at block and GP level for selecting appropriate sites and preparing plans. He highlighted the potential for leveraging the significant fund base of MGNREGS to fill gaps in other government schemes, particularly in areas requiring watershed management.
Mission Director, JKRLM, Indu Kanwal Chib, highlighted that NRLM has a vast network of 3,85,000 trained women farmers across the UT. She proposed that the ACPS can take help of these SHG women to achieve the objectives of watershed management program. She added that they have 2,800 trained ‘Krishi Pashu Sakhis’ who can be used as master trainers and can provide expert guidance.
CEO IWMP, Rajnish Kumar, Director Rural Development Kashmir, Shabir Hussain Bhat, Director Rural Development Jammu Mumtaz Ali, Assistant Commissioners Development, Project Managers IWMP and other officers were also present in the meeting.

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