Strategic Environment and Social Assessment: Neeranchal Phase I
The Department of Land Resources, Government of India in collaboration with World Bank have undertaken a National Watershed Development Project called Neeranchal which proposes to positively influence the Integrated Watershed Management Programme with technical and financial support. The Neeranchal supported States include rain fed states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. The Difference between IWMP and Neeranchal is that while IWMP aims at restoring ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil and vegetative cover and water, Neeranchal aims at providing such technical and financial support so as to ensure “Increased incomes through enhanced agricultural production and improved sustainability of natural resources through better watershed management among the people living in selected micro‐watersheds in eight States, by adding value to IWMP programs through institutional reform, capacity building, the development and application of best practices, and convergence with other Government project". To identify such issues, safeguards required to be in place and mitigation measures thereof, the Strategic Environment and Social Assessment (SESA) Part I has been initiated. It focuses on the current of affairs of IWMP, brief note on impact of ongoing and planned investments, institutional capacities and challenges as well as environmental and social risks, project specific monitoring measures and recommendations for a way forward.