The State Government on Thursday set a target to create irrigation potential for 12.78 lakh hectares through the Odisha Watershed Development Mission (ODWM) during the next seven years.
A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the irrigation potential so far created in the integrated action plan (IAP) districts having less than 35 per cent agricultural land covered under assured irrigation, higher poverty index, higher percentage of SCs and STs and small and marginal farmers.
The watershed development mission has planned to take up 12.78 lakh hectares of land for treatment under the integrated watershed management programme (IWMP) with a cluster approach. Preference will be given to 18 IAP districts where 10.31 lakh hectares of land will be treated in 189 clusters with an expenditure of Rs 1,299.68 crore.
The Government has sanctioned Rs 316.39 crore for the programme in the current financial year for treatment of 2.12 lakh hectares in 39 clusters, official sources said.
Meanwhile, a dedicated machinery has been put in place and watershed project director offices have been opened in 26 districts to ensure sustainability of the post-project management. The post-project management works have been taken up in Kalahandi, Nuapada and Balangir districts in the first phase and five other KBK districts will be covered in the second phase.
The districts selected for the IWMPs are Balangir, Deogarh, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Sundargarh.
Six backward and drought-prone districts selected as per guidelines are Boudh, Bargarh, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Dhenkanal and Khurda. The selected districts will have 1,745 micro watersheds covering an area of 10.02 lakh hectares.
Under cluster approach in management of micro-watersheds, 10 to 15 watersheds will be set up in one cluster and one project implementing agency (PIA) will be in charge of the cluster.
Each cluster will have two inter-related teams _ watershed management team and livelihood support team _ for providing guidance and hand-holding support to farmers. Each micro-watershed will have watershed committee and community link workers.
Agriculture Secretary Ranglal Jamuda, Watershed Mission Director GB Reddy and other senior officers were present.