Jammu: Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Abdul Haq Khan, Saturday directed officials to accelerate implementation of the on-going schemes under Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) in the state.
The Minister was interacting with Watershed Committee members who returned from an exposure tour back yesterday from Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi. The committee members/farmers expressed satisfaction on the activities being conducted under IWMP and shared their experiences gained during the exposure visit. They said they learnt new techniques for raising nursery crops, soil and water conservation methods etc.
The 5 day field-cum-exposure visit was organized by State Level Nodal Agency for IWMP under capacity building programme of IWMP. In the exposure visit, the watershed committee members of District Anantnag visited Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi and gained the experience of new methodologies, tools and techniques.
The Minister appreciated the efforts under the IWMP and asked the concerned to arrange many such programmes in future for the effective capacity building of all stakeholders. He underscored use of modern scientific methods like remote sensing & GIS for planning, monitoring & evaluation of watershed programmes in State. He highlighted the importance of capacity building to empower and train the farmers to face the vagaries of climate change.
The Minister also highlighted the need for having transparency and accountability so that the benefit of IWMP reaches to the last man in the village. He stressed the importance of villages in development process and all round growth of the state.
He called for adopting a holistic approach towards watershed management instead of compartmentalized approach. He directed the department to implement the schemes within the stipulated time frame and to submit utilization certificates for timely release of funds by the Central Government.
He underscored the need for community participation for successful implementation of the schemes under IWMP.
Chief Executive Officer, State Nodal Agency IWMP, Dr. Ghulam Hassan Shah and other senior officers were present on the occasion.