Directorate of Soil Conservation was established in year 1968 and it is one of the three directorates of Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Bihar. The major activities of Directorate are Land leveling, Bench Terracing, Water Recharging, Contour bunding, Gully Reclamation, Waste land development, Watershed Management, Water Harvesting Structure, Tapping of Hill Seepage, Lift irrigation schemes, Field Bunding, etc.
The Directorate is divided in to Two Wings namely
1. Works wing 2. Survey wing
Work wing executes schemes/ projects for conservation of soils and water resources in the State. These projects are being implemented under the State Plan Schemes and Centrally Sponsored Schemes besides other works.
Survey Wing function is to carry out land use survey in the State. Under this scheme, the soil survey is carried out and problems are investigated and solutions suggested. The fertility status of the soil is evaluated so that every piece of land is put to the use for which it is best suited in order to get maximum production. In this scheme soil survey was carried out using Cadastral Maps, Toposheets, Aerial Photographs, remote sensing and Land Sat Imagery as base map for Watershed delineation and resource mapping.
The Directorate gets its funds from both Center and State Govt. for carrying out soil and water conservation works.
Subsidies are provided for Water Storage Tanks, Pucca Check Dam, Silt Detention Dam, Runoff Management Structure, Water Harvesting Structures, DLH & Agroforestry, Irrigation Well, Farm Ponds,etc. as per the schemes of State or Centre.
To keep a check on the continuously degrading ground water resource in Bihar, Ground Water Recharging is the only solution.
On going Schemes under Directorate of Soil Conservation
A. Centrally sponsored Scheme
PradhanMantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (Watershed Development) - In Bihar State agriculture still remains a gamble in the hands of monsoon, on an average, the State receives as high as 1000 mm to 1350 mm rainfall per annum of which major share of 85% approx is received during June to September due to south-west monsoon, while the winter and summer rainfalls contributes to 10-15%, the erratic distribution of monsoon and other weather factors during the crop phase lead to fluctuating yields of different crops. Flash floods and droughts also affect the crop productivity and take heavy loss of life and property. The behavior of monsoon in the sub plateau region of Bihar is very erratic causing droughts every alternate year.
The challenge is to improve rural livelihoods through participatory watershed development with focus on integrated farming systems for enhancing income, quality of life, productivity and livelihood security in a sustainable manner. People’s participation will be enhanced. Active participation of weaker sections, SC, ST, and women’s in the development processes and all decision making in community activities is ensured to promote awareness, transparency in the panchayati Raj System. To achieve the said objectives a State Perspective and Strategic Plan (SPSP) has been prepared and presented in the steering committee of the Department of the Land Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India which compromises 28.00 lakh ha area to be treated upto 14th five year plan including all 38 districts of the State. In first phase, area of 1.92 lakh ha of eight sub plateau districts namely Banka, Jamui, Munger, Gaya, Nawada, Rohtas, Aurangabad & Kaimur has been taken up under Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of DoLR, GoI. Further, the programme has been extended in six Districts- Arwal, Jahanabad, Patna, Nalanda, shekhpura & Lakhisarai in 2014-15. To implement these PMKSY- Watershed Development Projects successfully the common guidelines for watershed Development Projects 2008 (revised edition 2011) and the directions issued time to time by DoLR, GoI will be followed. Directorate of Soil Conservation implements and monitors all the activities of PMKSY – Watershed Development (PMKSY - WD) on participatory approach. Emphasis is given on capacity building of watershed community in order to increase sustainability of interventions done in watershed project area.State is very keen in implementation of the PMKSY - WD in order to:-
1. To rejuvenate geohydro-logical system of the catchment & to restore fragile geo-morphological & ecological system of the catchment.
2. To increase rural livelihood which will check migration of rural work force.
3. To develop sustainable agricultural practices in rainfed area & flood affected areas.
4. To overcome the natural calamities like drought & flood which is quite frequent in the state.
5. To increase marketability of agricultural produce & rural household finished products.
6. To check soil erosion & to increase soil moisture regime.
7. To provide enough storage structures to store surplus run off and make it available for supplemental irrigation, drinking water to cattle, ground water recharge, fishery etc
The project components are briefly mentioned below.
A. Capacity Building
a. Institution Development
b. Learning Opportunities (skills, knowledge and attitudes)
B. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
C. Entry Point Activities
D. Watershed development works for Natural Resource Management
E. Livelihood Activities for Asset less Persons
F. Production System and Micro Enterprises (Agriculture/ Livestock/ Fisheries/ Others)
i. Bringing Green Regulation in Eastern India (BGREI)- This scheme is centrally sponsored, which is being implemented in 14 districts of Bihar wiz. – Gaya, Nawada, Jamui, Munger, Banka, Rohtas, Kaimur, Aurangabad, Patna, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nalanda, Lakhisarai&Shiekhpura. Under this scheme Small & big size ponds are being constructed on farmers land. 50% of the total cost of the structure will be paid by the beneficiary rest 50 % will be paid by the Department.
Activities under BGREI are-
1. Water Harvesting Tank (WHT)
2. Farm Pond (FP)
ii. RastriyaKrishiVikashYojna (RKVY) - This scheme is centrally sponsored, which is being implemented in 14 districts of Bihar wiz. – Gaya, Nawada, Jamui, Munger, Banka, Rohtas, Kaimur, Aurangabad, Patna, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nalanda, Lakhisarai&Shiekhpura. Under this scheme Small & big size ponds are being constructed on farmers land. 50% of the total cost of the structure will be paid by the beneficiary rest 50 % will be paid by the Department.
Activities under RKVY are-
1. Water Harvesting Tank (WHT)
2. Farm Pond (FP)
B. State Sponsored Schemes
i. State plan–( Soil and water Conservation work) – This scheme is cent percent State sponsored, which is being implemented in 17 districts of Bihar wiz. – Gaya, Nawada, Jamui, Munger, Banka, Rohtas, Kaimur, Aurangabad, Patna, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nalanda, Lakhisarai, Shiekhpura, Bhojpur, Buxar& Bhagalpur.
Activities under State Plan are-
1. Pucca Check Dam (PCD)
2. Silt Detention Dam (SDD)
3. Water Harvesting Structures (WHS)
4. Runoff Management Structures (RMS)
5. Earthen Check Dam (ECD)
6. Farm Pond (FP)
7. Water Harvesting Tank (WHT)
9. Dry Land Horticulture (DLH)
10. Farm Bunding
11. Desiltation of old existing Ponds
12. Community Pond
This scheme is being implemented by Deputy Director / Assistant Director, Soil Conservation on district level.