BRLF and the Commissioner Office, MGNREGS, Nagpur has jointly implement ‘A High Impact Mega Watershed Project’ in Six districts of the Vidarbha Region.
The Project aims to create sustainable livelihoods for the poor, tribal, and other vulnerable households in 28 selected blocks of 6 districts of Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra state through appropriate land and water treatment measures to be undertaken by leveraging funds from MGNREGS.
Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation and Commissioner Office MGNREGS, Government of Maharashtra signed an MoU on 8th September 2022 to jointly implement a project titled “A High Impact Mega Watershed Project”.
The objective of the project is to double the income of farmers and bring prosperity into the lives of the poor, tribal, and other vulnerable households. It will be implemented in 28 selected blocks of 6 districts of Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra state through appropriate land and water treatment measures to be undertaken by leveraging funds from MGNREGS. The project is expected to double the income of at least 100,000 small and marginal households on a sustainable basis.
The High Impact Mega Watershed Project would integrate the effective implementation of MGNREGS in watershed mode with an assumption of “Create assets today, bring prosperity tomorrow”. The project would include proper net planning (hydrological and ridge to valley approach through applying GIS mapping), active participation of the community from inception to implementation, capacity building of Gram Panchayats the main Programme Implementing Agencies (PIA) under MGNREGS, and project implementation in the most deprived and resource-poor geographies of the state.
Shri Shantanu Goel, (IAS) Commissioner MGNREGS, Government of Maharashtra, said, “With the objective of making every farmer/landless labour, Lakhpati (net income of 1 lakh per annum) whatever funds are needed within the framework of MGNREGS, it would be made available under MGNREGS, by Govt. of India and Govt. of Maharashtra. On average per year Rs. 7.14 crore are available for each Taluka for the development work under MGNREGS in the last two years. A similar amount can be made available if proper planning of work under MGNREGS is taken and executed accordingly”
Under this project, community irrigation and water conservation structures like Mazi Malgujari Talav, Percolation tanks, Storage tanks, and Check Dam will be taken up for restoration as well as individual irrigation assets like irrigation wells, farm ponds will also be created.
The project will not be limited to only creating irrigation assets but also to create income-generating activities like horticulture plantation, sericulture, and other allied activities like cattle sheds and poultry sheds. The project will train 800 Rojgaar Sahayaks and 6000 PRI and SHG members for effective planning and implementation of DPRs and livelihood plans. It aims to achieve 65% of MGNREGS expenditure on Natural Resource Management, 60% of MGNREGS expenditure on the creation of individual assets, and 60 % of MGNREGS expenditure on Agriculture and Allied activities in the targeted block.
Shri Pramathesh Ambasta, Chief Executive Officer, BRLF, said, “The project will enhance social capital through community collectives, progressive farmers, and agro-entrepreneurs. It will empower Gram Sabhas/Panchayati Raj Institutions while improving the democratic processes of these institutions to drive the village development processes and facilitate better access to the MGNREGS Scheme. The project will drive the effective implementation of MGNREGS through the active participation of the community in the planning and execution of works.”
He further added, “As is evident through our other similar projects in states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and West Bengal with a consortium of stakeholders representing various government departments, CSR, and civil society organisations, this project will work towards ensuring 100% of natural resource management assets that are linked with gainful livelihoods of the vulnerable groups.”