Greening Rural Development In India

Potential Green Results Of Specific Schemes

The major schemes mentioned above can potentially make a significant contribution to sustaining natural resources and ecosystem services. Some examples are:

  • A vast majority of the works under MGNREGS are linked to water, soil and land. The list of ‘permissible’ works provide environmental services such as conservation of water, groundwater recharge, reduced soil erosion, increased soil fertility, conservation of biodiversity, reclamation of degraded crop and grazing lands, enhanced leaf manure, fuel wood and non-wood forest products supply among others.
  • The Integrated Watershed Development Programme (IWDP) aims to restore ecological balance in a watershed by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, water and vegetative cover and thereby help provide sustainable livelihoods to the local people. The scheme’s potential for green outcomes is also enhanced if it supports the adoption of “green agronomy” practices and promotion of use patterns that sustain natural resources including groundwater and soil fertility
  • Under NRLM the guidelines for non-timber forest produce-based livelihoods under the Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) identify regeneration and sustainable harvesting of NTFP species as key objectives; similarly, promotion of organic and low-chemical agriculture and increased soil health and fertility to sustain agriculture-based livelihoods is an objective under the sustainable agriculture component of MKSP; increased availability of green inputs and advisory services to farmers and livestock herders and use of renewables-based energy services for processing activities have immense potential for green outcomes.
  • Under Indira Aawas Yojana (IAY), green results include efficient use of resources, including water, energy and construction material. Further, IAY can encourage greater use of renewable and locally available construction material, and reduced use of water and energy.
  • Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan – formerly the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) – has recently expanded its scope from eradication of open defecation to comprehensive sanitation in rural areas. Ten per cent of the project funds is earmarked for solid and liquid wastes management. NBA can ensure safe disposal of solid and liquid waste, and prevent untreated wastewater from re-entering the water system. These results can substantially improve the quality of water.

The National Rural Drinking Water Program guidelines give high priority to water supply source sustainability and water quality. Further, the potential for green outcomes is enhanced by an emphasis on safe disposal of sludge after treatment of contaminated water, and the use of renewable energy for water pumping. The above green results can be achieved through specific measures: a) at the level of the Ministry and b) for each scheme

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