The Hill Area Development Programme, introduced in Nilgiris District since the year 1975, is funded by the Government of India to supplement the plan resources of the state by providing Special Central Assistance.
The main objective of HADP is eco-restoration, eco- development and eco preservation. While taking care of the socio economic and developmental needs of the District, the HADP is to develop land use planning for forest areas to cultivable areas to conserve soil, water and increase productivity of land, economic upliftment of tribals in an isolated settlements and also to ensure peoples participation in all developmental activities. This translated on the field consist of the following components:
1. To preserve and conserve sholas and grasslands of Nilgiris.
2. Development of landuse plan for forest area as well as cultivated areas.
3. Conserve soil and water to increase productivity of theland by using vegetative methods and changing the cropping pattern.
4. Promote non-land based economic activities to uplift the poor people and to ensure environment Protection.
5. Economic up-liftment of tribals in isolated locations, settlements.
6. To evolve a comprehensive human settlement policy and discourage migration.
7. "Area based Approach" adopted and integrated plans to be prepared for all watersheds and high priority watershed shall be chosen for treatment.
8. Use of scientific interventions will be encouraged i.e. Application of Remote sensing, etc.,
9. Promotion of Non-Conventional Energy sources i.e. Solar, Hydro, Bio-gas, etc.,
The Hill Area development Programme Cell was established at Udhagamandalam to formulate the Annual and Five Year plan proposals, scrutinize the proposals received, assess the viability of implementation of the schemes, frequent and effective inspections and review to ensure and timely completion of the works. Apart from the above, since area based development has been given stress for implementation of HADP schemes, the need of integrating the sectoral activities in selected as well as other watersheds are also carried out.
APPROACH AND STRATEGY OF IMPLEMENTATION:
The strategy of implementation of HADP has changed over time. Emphasis has shifted from Individual Oriented schemes towards area based approach. The Nilgiris, has adopted the "watershed based plans" since "Area Based Programme" such as soil & water conservation measures can be taken up more effectively.
Under this scheme, the resources information of watersheds were gathered and analysed through Remote Sensing Techniques based on which, ISRO, Bangalore have delineated watershed boundaries of Nilgiris District and the boundaries verified with the coordination of Agriculture Engineering, Horticulture and Forest departments.
The Nilgiris District is drained by major rivers like Bhavani, Moyar and Kabbini which are the tributaries of Cauvery and Pandiar.
The entire district has been delineated into 75 major watersheds on the basis of the drainage pattern.
Soil Conservation, Horticulture and Forestry are the core sectors under this Programme. Besides, importance is also accorded to the Welfare of SC /ST, Human Resources Development, Development of Local Bodies, Roads, Tourism, INDCO Tea Factories, Khadi & Village Industries, Sericulture etc., by providing substantial funds.
As such as, the Annual Plan outlay has increased from 1.26 crores in 1975-76 to 22.10 crores in the year 2002-03, indicating the increased volume of development activities taking place.
All the watersheds in order of annual crop coverage and aspects are prioritised with the ten watersheds identified as High priority Watersheds. For better co-ordination and implementation of the schemes under various sectoral heads, the delineated watersheds have been further sub-divided into Micro Watersheds each covering an area of 300-500 Ha.
The activities of the core sectors has been integrated with those of the other line Departments to stabilize the ecology besides involving the local people along with NGO by adopting integrating watersheds approach from the year 1995-96. In order to involve the farmers and local people in planning for their own needs, the NGO take up Participatory Rural Appraisal meetings in which the watershed communities take part to express their views and suggest corrective measures. The proposals thus finalised are included in the plan.