Project Introduction

SWAN - the ancient Sombhadra River originates from Joh-Marwari village near Daulatpur Chowk in Amb Tehsil of Una district of Himachal Pradesh and flows down through the inter-mountain valley of Una district and dividing it longitudinally. Total catchment area of the river in Una district is 1204 Kms. After traversing a distance of about 65 Km in Una it fInally drains into River Sutlej near Anandpur Sahib, district Roopnagar of Panjab.

The catchment of Swan River is characterized by fragile and vulnerable Shivalik hills and sparse vegetative cover. State Government is concerned about the conservation of natural resources and to reverse the trend of degradation resources like land, water, livestock and forest resources which forms the integral part of the production base of this hill state. Swan River overflows the banks during monsoons and causes severe soil erosion, land slide, deposition of sand on fertile agricultural land which renders it infertile and also causes damage to life properties which had resulted change in the ancient name of Sombhadra or Swan River into the Sorrow of Una. Keeping in view the gravity of situation and to reverse the trend of degradation in the catchment area, the Swan River Integrated Watershed Management Project has come into being since 2006-07 with the financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). H.P. State Forest department is the nodal agency of the Project. Besides that, Department of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry of the State are the participating Departments in the Project.

The cost and implementation period at the inception of Project was Rs 160 crores and 8 years (2006-07 to 2013-14), respectively. But with the outcome of micro-planning and as per the recommendation of MTR and E, followed by the Joint Review Mission of JICA, Project cost has now been revised to the tune of Rs. 227.31 Crores and Project duration of 10 years (2006-07 to 2015-16). Participatory micro-planning process was followed in planning at grass-root level i.e. at ward level with further consolidation and approval of Panchayat Development Plans (micro-plans) at Panchayat level. 96 Gram Panchayats of the district falling in the catchment of Swan River have been selected for the treatment. Participation of PRIs and local communities has been ensured right from planning and its execution for which Panchayat level Institutions called Panchayat Development Committees (PDCs) have been formed in all the selected Gram Panchayats of the Project. These PDCs are registered bodies under Society Registration Act. For the overall administration, planning and implementation of the Project H.P. Forest Department has established a Project Management Unit (PMU) at Una which is headed by the CCF-Cum-Project Director and three Project Implementation Units (PIU) located at Una, Amb and Gagret, are headed by Deputy Directors.