SOIL CONSERVATION OFFICE:KEONJHAR
The soil conservation activities started in the District since 1960 with establishment of a Soil Conservation Sub-Division at Keonjhar having jurisdiction over the entire district. Subsequently a Division Office (Soil Conservation Officer) at Keonjhar(1963) and another sub-division (Assistant Soil Conservation Officer) at Anandapur (1983) came into operation.
Soil and water are two valuable natural resources gifted by nature for sustenance of life. Hence the main objective of the department is its conservation and judicious exploitation for the betterment of human being. In the district like Keonjhar which is endowed with an undulating topography and man made Eco-imbalances, these two natural gifts have become vulnerable to the vagaries of nature like uneven and erratic monsoon causing drought and flood in every alternative year
In view of the above facts the Soil Conservation Department has taken up integrated rural development having the component of natural resources, human resources and bovine resources development on a sustainable basis. The main purpose of the project is for increasing the productivity from the arable and non-arable lands generating employment and meeting the requirement of the people like food, fodder, fuel, fiber and fruits. Besides, the department has taken up construction of Water Harvesting Structure, Diversion Weirs for collection of rainwater and utilizing the free flow water for the purpose of protective irrigation, recycling, percolation of the water for the recharge of the ground water.
(a) Cashew Plantation :- Cashew plantation have taken up over an area of 1040 hectors which has already been handed over to the Cashew Development Corporation since 1990-91.
(b) Sisal Plantation :- Sisal Plantation over an area of 168.4 hectors have been raised. But the whole area could not be exploited due to paucity of funds.
(c) Simoruba Plantation :- Simoruba Glauca Plantation was started during the year 1994-95 in the district. So far 250 hectors of Simoruba Plantation have been raised under different schemes. People of Ghatagaon and Keonjhar Block are extracting oil from the Simoruba seeds and using it for edible purposes. To know more about Simoruba oil, the seeds have been sent to Edible oil Research Laboratory, Bangalore for further research.
(d) Conservation of Water Harvesting Structures/Diversion Weirs :- So far 424 nos. of Water Harvesting Structures/Diversion Weirs/ Percolation Tanks have been constructed in this district since inception. The main aim and object of the projects was to collect rainwater and utilizing it for the purpose of protective irrigation/recharge of ground water. Through these projects 1017 hectors of land in Kharif and 295 hectors of land in Rabi are being irrigated during lean season.
(e) Roadside Avenue Plantation :- This department has taken up Roadside Avenue Plantation in different roads for protection and development of environment in the district.
(f) Watershed Development :- The Soil Conservation Division, Keonjhar is mostly taking up Watershed Development Projects in all the Blocks of this district for overall development like natural resources, human resources and bovine resources. So far 37 nos. of Micro Watershed Development Projects have been taken up under the scheme NWDPRA and EAS . Under IWDP one Sub-watershed Project is also in operation in Keonjhar and Patna Block. Further, 2 projects under IWDP and one project under RVP in in Harichandanpur, Ghatagaon, and Banspal Block respectively have been proposed.
(g) Soil Conservation Demonstration Centre (S.C.D.C.) :- One soil Conservation Demonstration Centre is in existence at Raisuan in Keonjhar Block over an area of 50 acres. The main aim and object of S.C.D.C is to demonstrate different cropping programme to the local farmers along with different soil conservation practices.
(h) District Park, Chikinia :- One District Part at Chikinia has been developed by this department during the Seventies for development of Eco system in the area. People from different parts of the state visit the park for site seeing and picnic purposes.
Besides, in this park Black pepper cultivation in a very small scale has been taken up. At present construction of one Water body is nearing completion, which will definitely attract birds from other places because of its large water spreading area. Ultimately more and more visitors are expected during this year and future years.
Work Sites/Projects that can be visited interested Group/Press/Media
Process of Interaction with Beneficiaries/Public
Soil Conservation projects are mostly demand driven. Hence before execution of any Soil Conservation Projects like Water Harvesting Structures, Gully Control Measures, Plantations the local people are taken into confidence and their active involvement is ensured. During execution of watershed development projects, regular meetings, interactions are conducted with the local villagers. The following local bodies are formed to involve the people.
At the watershed level the inhabitants of the constituent villages are organized to form an Watershed Association. Normally this Association is identified as a union of two constituent groups viz.
(a) User Group :- Who derive direct benefits from the project during execution of different activities and hence directly associate themselves during execution.
(b) Self Help Group :- Who are mostly resource poor and are organized to form small thrift groups to take up income generating activities to become self reliant. Small contributions are drawn from the project fund as matching grant (refundable to help them grow during initial phases.)
(c) Watershed Committee :- A representative body of the Watershed Association is formed as Watershed Committee taking representatives from both User Group and Self Help Group alongwith 2 Gram Panchayat representative and one member of the Watershed Development Team(WDT). The maximum no. of members for the Watershed Committee can vary from 12-15. The Committee takes active part in execution of the Watershed Project and maintain accounts.Top
Contact Officials for Different Programmes
The following officials may be contacted for details of Soil Conservation Programmes.
(a) Block/Watershed level :- Junior Soil Conservation Officer, Keonjhar .
(b) Sub-Division level :- Assistant Soil Conservation Officer, Keonjhar for Keonjhar and Champua Sub-Divisions and Assistant Soil Conservation Officer, Anandapur for Anandapur Sub-Division.
(c) District Level :- The Soil Conservation Officer, Keonjhar.
Internal Grievance Redressal System of the Department
On every Saturday the grievance cell of this office functions from 3 P.M to 5 P.M. The petitions and applications of outsiders was received and disposed after verification in due course of time.Top
With the creation of Watershed Mission at the State level since 30.6.2000 the soil conservation activities will be reoriented to take up development works on watershed basis. Special efforts are being taken to identify and prioritize watersheds in each block and take up at least 2 nos. of watersheds in each block from the year 2000-2001 with active participation of local people as envisaged in the New Concept of Watershed Development by the Govt.of India.
The soil conservation organization is dedicated for conservation of soil and water for better productivity, socioeconomic development of rural populace and environmental protection and preservation. In order to be most effective because it envisages and ensures total onward development of the (watershed) area. All the vital natural resources like vegetative, biotic (human and livestock) and land are dealt very meticulously with active participation of the watershed dwellers. The watershed inhabitants are involved out and out from the planning phase to harvesting of end results in order to maintain sustainability. The Soil Conservation Organisation with the above responsibility in mind is vowed to play its active role for overall development in rural sector on watershed basis.
Annual work programme under non-departmental schemes for 2000-2001: