TDP’s Visionary Water Conservation Committees

In the arid landscapes of Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) under the leadership of N Chandrababu Naidu initiated a transformative water conservation program. Focused on developing 100 lakh hectares of drought-stricken land over a decade, the TDP government invested Rs.4000 crores between 1997 and 2007. This visionary water storage scheme aimed not only to alleviate drought but also to convert barren lands into flourishing vegetation, providing a sustainable solution to water scarcity. Implemented by the Rural Development Department, the water catchment (watershed) development program received funding through various schemes like the Drought Areas Programme, Desert Areas Development Program, DP RAIDF, EAS, APHA, ECRP, and WFD. This collaborative effort involving the Rural and Forest Departments has not only created significant employment opportunities in rural areas but has also yielded fruitful results in terms of water source restoration.

The program’s success lies in its methodical implementation and community involvement. Watershed Committees, comprising local residents and villagers, are formed based on guidelines from the Center for Water Storage Development. Registered under the Andhra Pradesh Cooperative Acts, these committees bear a percentage of the development cost (ranging from 5 to 25 percent). Their primary responsibility is to execute water storage development works as per government norms, guided by the Project Implementation Agency (PIA). The contributions of the TDP government in this initiative stand out as top achievements. Under the program, areas of 500 hectares each were taken as units, and Watershed Committees played a crucial role in achieving the goals. These contributions are regularly highlighted in TDP Flash News, showcasing the government’s commitment to sustainable development.



The scale of the initiative is impressive, with 2966 water sheds developed under the Deprived Areas Development Program (DPAP), bringing 14.83 lakh hectares of land under cultivation. The Desert Areas Development Program (DDP) and Chaudu Lands Development Program (IWDP) together added 7.54 lakh hectares under cultivation through 1394 watersheds. Under the Employment Assurance Scheme (EAN), Nature. 50 thousand hectares of land are being developed through 100 water sheds, contributing to the reduction of migration to cities by 61 percent. Additionally, 25 thousand hectares of land under Watershed Development (WDF) and 4.11 lakh hectares through 1533 watershed projects with NABARD-RSIDF aid further highlight the program’s success. The commitment to development extends beyond agriculture with 1,25,129 water structures constructed at a cost of Rs.989.63 crores. Forest lands under joint forest management saw the development of 17.25 lakh hectares. The implementation of water supply schemes in various districts with NABARD funding further showcases the government’s multifaceted approach to sustainable development.



The TDP’s visionary water conservation committees have not only transformed barren lands into green oases but have also significantly contributed to rural development, employment generation, and environmental sustainability. As the program continues to show positive impacts, it stands as a testament to the TDP government’s commitment to holistic and inclusive development in Andhra Pradesh.

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