Major Areas :: Watershed Management :: DPAP

Drought Prone Area Programme

The Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP) focuses on the non-arable land and drainage lines for in-situ soil and moisture conservation programme includes agro- forestry, pasture development, horticulture and alternate land use. The programme also focuses on efficient use of arable lands through better crop management technologies. The objective is of environmental protection and restoration of ecological balance through appropriate natural resource management technologies. Works range from simple check dams to large percolation irrigation tanks and from vegetative barriers to contour bunds. Guidelines aim to encourage the project implementation agency and the research institutions to ensure up gradation and adoption of low cost local technologies and materials for sustainable water shed development. The programme emphasizes the importance of people's participation in the developmental programmes, more successful experiments.


  • to minimize the adverse effects of drought on the production of crops and livestock and productivity of land, water and human resources
  • to promote the economic development and employment generation for the village community is directly or indirectly dependent on the water shed;
  • to optimum utilization of  the Watershed's natural resources like land, water, vegetation etc, development of human and other economic resources of the village in order to promote savings.
  • The programme also focuses on other income generation activities and encourages restoration of ecological balance in the village environment. 


The common Guidelines for Watershed Development provide for a uniform strategy in the implementation of all area development programmes.The main features of this strategy are:

  • Area development programmes to be implemented exclusively on watershed basis.
  • Programme activities to be confined to the identified watershed of about 500 hectares and to be executed on a project basis spanning a period of four to five years.
  • Watershed project to be, as far as possible, co-terminus with village boundary.
  • Direct participation of the people in planning and development of watershed areas and maintenance of assets in the post project period.
  • Panchayati Raj Institutions have the right to monitor and review the programme at district, block and village levels.
  • Voluntary agencies to be given effective role in the implementation of the programme
  • particularly in motivating people, community organisation and training.


The Drought Prone Areas Programme was in operation in 627 blocks of 96 districts in 13 States
during 1994-95. On the recommendation of the Hanumatha Rao Committee, 384 new blocks were brought into the purview of this programme and 64 were transferred from DPAP to DDP.

Consequently, coverage of the programme was extended to 947 blocks of 164 districts in 13 States. With the reorganization of States, districts and blocks, at present the programme is under
implementation in 972 blocks of 182 districts in 16 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Funding Pattern

Until March, 1999 the funds were shared on 50:50 basis between the Central Government and the State Governments. However, with effect from 1st April, 1999, the funding is shared on 75:25 basis between the Centre and State Government. For completion of ongoing projects that were sanctioned prior to April 1999, the old funding pattern will continue. The projects of 500 ha. are sanctioned under the programme. Until March, 2000 following cost norms were adopted under DPAP for various eco-systems. Uniform cost norms @ Rs.6000/- per ha. have been introduced. These norms are applicable to projects sanctioned during and after 2000-2001.

Procedure for selection of villages:
Selection is made of only those villages from which people's participation is assured through voluntary donation/contribution in terms of labour, raw materials, cash etc for the developmental activities as well as for the operation and maintenance of the assets created.

Procedure for selection of water sheds: 
A water shed is a geo - hydrological unit or an area that drains at a common point. In each selected village the water shed of approximately 500 hector is identified and selected by the project team in consultation with the Panchayat where acute shortage of drinking water and large population of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe depends on watershed area.

Watershed Association:
At the village level, all the members of the village community that are directly or indirectly dependent on the selected watershed area, are organized into a watershed association, which is an informal and registered associations.

Watershed Committee:
Watershed committee consists of 10-12 members, users group, self help group of the water shed area. The function of the committee is supervision and control of the watershed area, and management of the day-to-day activities of the watershed project.