A Study on Constraints in People's Participation in Integrated Watershed Development
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A study conducted in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, where the famous Anna Hazare's Ralegaon Siddhi was located,
a series of constraints were identified in various stages of watershed development process. The major constraints were:
lack of agreement on identification and prioritization of felt needs and unfelt needs, lack of conviction among some
villagers to envisage the possible benefits to be accrued through watershed development activities in the initial stage, lack
of technically qualified field assistants, inappropriate design of engineering solutions, neglect of technical matters in
planning and design stage, lack of comprehensive understanding of the problem, field situation, appropriate technical
solutions for watershed by government functionaries in planning stage, procedural delays in approvals, sanctions and
fund disbursal, sanctioning power limitations and hierarchy issues, non-availability of funds at the time when most
needed, and poor quality materials and hence poor quality soil conservation and check dams engineering works in the
implementation stage. In the post-implementation stage, lack of post-implementation budgets for maintenance and
sustainable management of watersheds was a major constraint. Among the suggestions given by respondents for better
watershed management, the most important were: specific measures for human development including good and
dedicated leadership, decision by consensus of all stakeholders, encouraging people to take own initiatives and not rely on
government for everything, using community pressure for those who do not adhere to group decisions, empowering
women with self help groups, and engaging youth in constructive activities. Among the economic and ecological
measures, encouraging dairying to augment farm incomes, banning open grazing, tree felling, undertake massive tree
plantation and among the water conservation measures, forming water cooperatives, using water judiciously and arresting
flow of water wherever possible were suggested.
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