The Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP)

The Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) aims at mitigating the adverse effects of drought on the production of crops and livestock and productivity of land, water and human resources. It strives to encourage restoration of ecological balance and seeks to improve the economic and social conditions of the poor and the disadvantaged sections of the rural community.


DPAP is a people’s programme with Government assistance. There is a special arrangement for maintenance of assets and social audit by Panchayati Raj Institutions. Development of all categories of land belonging to Gram Panchayats, Government and individuals fall within the limits of the selected watersheds for development.


Allocation is to be shared equally by the Centre and State Govt. on 75:25 basis. Watershed community is to contribute for maintenance of assets created. Utilisation of 50% of allocation under the Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) is for the watershed development. Funds are directly released to Zila Parishads/District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) to sanction projects and release funds to Watershed Committees and Project Implementation Agencies.


Village community, including self-help/user groups, undertake area development by planning and implementation of projects on watershed basis through Watershed Associations and Watershed Committees constituted from among themselves. The Government supplements their work by creating social awareness, imparting training and providing technical support through project implementation agencies.

How to Seek Assistance:

Non-Government organisations can approach the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) for appointment as Project Implementation Agencies.

WDP/Hariyali Guidelines

To involve village communities in the implementation of watershed projects under all the area development programmes namely, Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP), Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and Desert Development Programme (DDP), the Guidelines for Watershed Development were adopted w.e.f.1.4.1995, and subsequently revised in August 2001. To further simplify procedures and involve the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) more meaningfully in planning, implementation and management of economic development activities in rural areas, these new Guidelines called Guidelines for Hariyali are being issued.
Objectives of projects under HARIYALI: –
i.    Harvesting every drop of rainwater for purposes of irrigation, plantations including horticulture and floriculture, pasture development, fisheries etc. to create sustainable sources of income for the village community as well as for drinking water supplies.
ii.    Ensuring overall development of rural areas through the Gram Panchayats and creating regular sources of income for the Panchayats from rainwater harvesting and management.
iii.    Employment generation, poverty alleviation, community empowerment and development of human and other economic resources of the rural areas.
iv.    Mitigating the adverse effects of extreme climatic conditions such as drought and desertification on crops, human and livestock population for the overall improvement of rural areas.
v.    Restoring ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing natural resources i.e. land, water, vegetative cover especially plantations.
vi.    Encouraging village community towards sustained community action for the operation and maintenance of assets created and further development of the potential of the natural resources in the watershed.
vii.    Promoting use of simple, easy and affordable technological solutions and institutional arrangements that make use of, and build upon, local technical knowledge and available materials.
Funding Pattern
The present cost norm is Rs 6000 per hectare. This amount shall be divided amongst the following project components subject to the percentage ceiling mentioned against each: –
(i)    Watershed Treatment/ Development Works/ Activities    85%
(ii)    Community Mobilization and Training    5%
(iii)    Administrative Overheads    10%
TOTAL    100%