'Watershed project neglected in UP'

Jairam asks Akhilesh to pay attention

After pointing out shortcomings in MNREGA, Union Minister for Rural Development  has asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to give his personal attention to developing structure for implementation of Integrated Watershed Management Programme in the state.

In his letter to Akhilesh, the Union minister said it was unfortunate that excluding Karnataka, the pace of implementation of IWMP in other states was not up to the mark.

Ramesh said the programme was launched in 2009-2010 with an objective to re-establish ecological balance by use, conservation and development of natural resources such as soil and water.

He said that various agricultural related activities could be started from the programme, which would help in providing permanent earning to those living in watershed areas.

The cost of projects sanctioned in UP between 2009-2010 to 2013-2014 was Rs 2,830 crore of which Rs 536 crore has been released from the central funds.The minister said that unutilised balance fund of around Rs 220 crore was with the state government.

“If UP had implemented IWMP projects as per its commitment, it could have got an additional Rs 355 crore from the Centre in the last four year,” he said.

“UP is an important state for the implementation of the ambitious programme. I want to request that you give personal attention to establish structure for implementation of IWMP,” Ramesh said.

Pointing out shortcomings in the implementation of MGNREGA scheme in UP, Ramesh had in October asked the state chief minister to give personal attention to the issue.In a letter written to Akhilesh he had said that the scheme, which guaranteed hundred days of employment to rural people, had hired only 24 per cent of those eligible in the state. 

This is less than the mandatory hiring of 33 per cent and much lower than the target achieved by other states, he said.

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