Assignment term paper natural resource management of orissa


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PGPRM–I 2006-2008


India has successfully crossed 50 yrs mark of its independence marching ahead, with countable progress through unflagging commitments and tireless efforts of the people and social economic, scientific and technological areas. But the stream of modernization and industrialization has not only uprooted man but infact has destroyed his habitat and environment also. The problem of flood, land degradation is responsible in retarding in country’s progress. The sustainable development and management of degraded and distracted area has a great scope and potential to fulfill the various human needs.
The close link between the environment and sustainable development is widely realized today. Poverty and marginalization of rural poor is increasing as a result of environmental degradation during the past decades in case of Orissa.

Our special thanks and appreciation to father panka toppo,whose contributions has enriched this term paper. We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to professor C. shambh Prasad,who has been a constant source of guidance and continuous encouragement in bringing out this term paper.

In this term paper we have put forth our little effort to explore this myth.We have collected information related to the NRM issues of Orissa from various articles, magazines, studies and reports


Dakhine saziba utare gaziba

Purbe na rahiba kehi

Jhadabada dhari rahithiba jiye

Kulaku bihan seyhi….

( A oriya poem….this tells that there would be occurrence of torments of strong winds roaring in all directions whether it is north or south or east or west. but those people who would take the support of trees..bushes..shrubs will survive. this poem brings out the importance of natural resources.

BHAGWAN SAHOO looks pensive and despondent. This 60-year-old farmer is trying hard to redefine his life. A farmer by heart, Bhagwan has decided to quit farming. His two sons have already abandoned the village and him, in search of an alternate livelihood.
The 1999 killer cyclone left Bhagwan with nothing. It not only razed his house but the seawater made a thick sheet of salt on his once-fertile fields. The year 2000 brought an unprecedented drought and dashed his flickering hopes. Strapped for cash, Bhagwan had to borrow money in the hope that the next monsoon would bring him some luck…and likewise many stories follows….Starvation deaths: people in Orissa are paying with their lives for myopic government policies

The coastal state of Orissa , home to a rich culture and tradition and endowed with ample natural resources is often faced with serious constraints to meet the needs of its people. The state and its people face relatively frequent large scale natural disasters. In October 1999 devastating cyclones caused the deaths of thousands of people and destroyed the livelihood of many more.The widespread damage to social and economic infrastructure was unprecedented.

There are many factors which are to be blamed for the devastation. Capital intensive and profit oriented development models like prawn farming, fishing jetty in Bhitarkanika, mechanized fishing in the sea, mining in most of the forest rich areas, tribal dominated areas, pollution of water air and vegetation, repeated displacements of people, loss of biodiversity green revolution using chemical fertilizers and HYV seeds are all said to be development models which will make Orissa prosperous. But in doing all these for so many years, what has really happened? Have the people of Orissa really been benefitted?These questions are need to be raised and people should be sensitize towards it.

Termed as natural calamities.. drought and floods occur almost every year in Orissa. The debate whether climatic changes trigger calamities continues. But there is no doubt that environmental degradation wrecks havoc on Orissa. Geographical vulnerability, impact of climate change and human-made factors script the doom of Orissa. Droughts, cyclones and floods have hit agriculture the most, the state’s backbone. The production of foodgrain has plummeted alarmingly and this trend is prevalent throughout Orissa. In the last 50 yrs the food production has decreased by 40%.

Due to calamities, at an average 900,000 ha of agricultural lands lose crops every year in the state. In just 13 years from 1991-92 to 2004-05, severely degraded land in the state had increased by 136 per cent, barren land had increased by 69 per cent and land converted to non-agricultural uses by 34 per cent. With the rate of land degradation going up at an alarming pace, a study conducted by an NGO claimed that Orissa could well turn barren and a land mass in to a desert in the next 150 years.

In this term paper we have analysed the extent, types, present status ,process and forces of degradation, people’s participation, and policies of government and other organizations related to sustainability and development. A deadly cocktail of floods, cyclones, heat waves and droughts has made Orissa the disaster capital of India. Is it just natural or is the state paying a price for climate change and environmental degradation?

Forests precede civilization

Deserts follow them ”

Calamities, environmental degradation and bad governance invest to make Orissa India's poorest state:

For more than a decade now, Orissa has been reeling under contrasting extreme weather conditions: from heat waves to cyclones; from droughts to floods. Calamities have been visiting the state with alarming regularity. Out of the last 100 years, the state has been disaster affected for 90 years: floods have occurred for 49 years, droughts for 30 and cyclones have hit the state for 11 years. Since 1965, calamities are not only becoming more frequent but striking areas that never had a vulnerability record. For instance, a heat wave in 1998 killed around 1,500 people. Most of the casualties were in coastal Orissa, a region otherwise known for its mode-rate temperature.

Why is this happening? Is there an emerging pattern in this cycle of destruction? There is evidence that suggests that the state’s ecology and weather conditions have undergone a change. Experts believe Orissa might well be showing up the impact of climate change induced by global warming. Although, the geographical location of the state is one of the causes behind these extreme weather influences, there is also a growing belief now that these natural calamities are not as natural as they apparently appear and that the state’s environmental degradation has gone a long way in triggering these disasters. Today, 52 per cent of the state’s land faces erosion due to deform-station. With mangrove forests being cleared, more and more areas have come under the grip of cyclones. Rivers deluge more areas due to siltation. When the government releases water in dams like Hirakud during the flood, this adds to the problem. Almost 490,000 ha of fertile lands have been waterlogged.

In the last four years, calamities have claimed more than 30,000 lives. Agricultural lands have become fallow and this has led to hunger and starvation deaths.

Caught in the cycle of disasters and impoverishment, the poor in Orissa have become even more vulnerable. Years of official neglect and mismanage-mint of natural resources have left them few options. The already stressed eco-system is made even more fragile with each disaster. And the poor living on the margins of subsistence are forced into greater penury. Worse, they are fast losing their capacity to rebuild their lives after each disaster. Consecutive calamities have ripped Orissa’s economy apart.

Against this deplorable backdrop and the permeating impact of the calamities, the state administration remains unruffled. Inspite of various measures taken. Still Orissa conditions are deteoriating.

broken earth, broken lives……Parched lands

The frequency of droughts has made even traditionally water-rich regions fall under the spectra of death. This year Orissa suffered one of its worst droughts as well. Orissa is in the midst of one of its worst drought years. The state government has declared 19 districts drought affected, nine of them in the KBK region. Kalahandi is relieving the 1900 famine, the severest in living memory. Rainfall is deficient by 40 per cent (Balangir and Kalahandi have a deficient of 60 per cent), and the crop loss is 50 per cent and estimated at Rs 642.89 crore. Out of Balangir’s 1,784 villages, 1,772 have been declared 100 per cent drought affected. In the KBK districts, the crop loss is up to 80 per cent The drought gripped more than two-thirds of the state’s districts. After the great famine of 1866, it was for the first time that drought of such a magnitude hit Orissa. It affected the lives of 11 million people. After flood drought is the devastating calamity in Orissa. The state government has officially declared 25 districts as drought prone. Drought has a chronic recurrence since 1965 in west Orissa. “Since 1965 there is not a single year when this region has not seen drought,” says Jagdish Pradhan of Sahabhagi Vikas Kendra, an NGO working on long-term drought mitigation. But it is not only the recurrence but the expanse of the drought that haunts .

One of the prime reasons for increased frequency of drought is the neglect of Orissa’s traditional water harvesting structures. For instance, the drought-prone Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput (KBK) districts of western Orissa. Four decades ago, these districts combated droughts successfully with a network of about 20,000 traditional tanks built with community participation. Given the undulating topography of this region, these

tanks stored water which was used during the dry months. So a failure in rainfall never caused draught.

What has also aggravated the drought situation in these districts is the disappearance of drought-resistant indigenous crop varieties. A study by Paschim Orissa Krishijivi Sangh (POKS), a farmers’ organization based in Kalahandi, says that the indigenous varieties of crops are on the verge of extinction in western Orissa as high yielding varieties (HYV) are encouraged for commercial use. In the last 100 years, 30 severe droughts have been recorded in Orissa. But the government has not learnt anything. Skewed policies have led to the death of traditional water harvesting structures. Drought proofing rather than drought relief is the need of the hour. But is the government listening?

Recommendation for prevention of drought in KBK regions.

  • Soil vegetation is very crucial for prevention of droughts. The soil vegetation system implies many crucial but unexpected modulatory aspect of the hydrological cycle in tropical areas. The most important is the humidity storage in the lowest layers of the atmosphere within the forest vegetation and its installation against wind dispersal or through heat. The actual ground water storage depends on the litter fall , which is very deep under the multi-tired natural and forest vegetation. This litter water undergoes a process of decomposition with complex collides and a physical structure suitable to bind or otherwise store considerable amount of rainfall, and in turn insulated against evaporative water loss and desiccation.

  • Contingent crop planning can help reducing the effects of drought. If no rains occur till last week of June, sowing of upland paddy in unbunded high land should be avoided and maize, ragi, jowar, arhar, groundnut, sesamum, castor in lines should be done.

  • One of the major problems of drought in KBK regions is the normal onset of monsoon followed by long dry spell. If drought sets in during July, effective weed management and resowing of crops by early varieties with 10-15%hiher seed rate are practiced. If prolonged dry spell prevails during late August or early September crops like jowar ,bajra,and maize may be harvested for fodder or plant stand may apparently be thinned depending upon intensity of drought.




Nature of the Disaster (cause, magnitude, date, time, place)

Area affected (name, size, climate, topography, population, worst affected areas)

Impact (no. dead, missing, migrated, etc.)

Expected Developments (population movements, forthcoming seasonal conditions, populations at risk, etc.)

Erratic & uneven rainfall.

No water in medium & minor irrigation projects.

Water table of tube wells & bore wells have gone down)

Levels of LI points have also gone down.

July, August, September & October months went without rains; the effect showed during October-November.

40-100 % crop loss in 17 dists

Western Orissa districts, Bolangir, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh

Population affected is approx. 4 million.

Media reports starvation deaths in Bolangir and Nuapada. About 16 starvation deaths reported in various newspapers.
Migration has occurred from the districts of Bolangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, etc. People have migrated to different parts of the country, especially construction sites and factories in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat & Maharashtra.

Poor farmers of Western & Southern Orissa are constantly at risk. Women of such families would be the worst hit. The paddy & non-paddy crops are given to the money-lenders in lieu of the seed/fertiliser loan, leading to movement of large number of populations to the neighbouring states in search of work. This has become a regular feature.

The coming months, especially after March 2001 is going to be very critical for the farmers and might force further population movements.

The developments in the agriculture sector are: higher percentage of fallow areas, low productivity and production & uncertainty in post-monsoon rabi crops.


Government Authorities (responsible for overall direction)

Administrative Measures (nature & outcome of measures, eg declaration of emergency, requisition for relief work, restrictions on movements or prices.)

Mobilisation of Resources (distribution of relief items, allocation of emergency funds)

Constraints (areas where national/local response capacity seems to be overburdened)

  • An eight member Central Team under the chairmanship of S.K.Ojha, Joint Secretary, Agriculture and Co-operation Department, Govt. of India have visited the drought affected districts of the state.

  • Special Relief Commissioner is the nodal authority at the State level and Dist Collector is the Chief relief functionary at the dist level.

  • Drought assessment has been done by the State authorities and white paper published.

  • Drought declared in all the panchayats which have suffered a crop loss of more than 50%. 17 Districts with a population of 8.5 million have been affected.

  • Govt. of India sanctioned 50,000 National Old Age Pension beneficiaries in different districts.
  • Govt. of India sanctioned 29,230 MT of BPL rice and 7310 MT of BPL wheat for 18.27 lakh families in all affected districts for three months.

  • Calamity Relief Fund has been utilized on labour intensive works and sinking of deep tube wells.

  • Since area affected is quite large, Govt. machinery may not be able to start labour intensive works and relief centres in most vulnerable locations.

  • Local response would need supplementation in food for work and drinking water for human and cattle consumption.

  • Care of the most vulnerable families would be the most important need which would warrant intervention by non-governmental humanitarian organizations.


The ‘Mahanadi’ which was known as pride of Orissa has now very sadly turned into the sorrow of Orissa.To understand this we have to compare the pre Hirakund and post Hirakund situation. The number of life affected due to flood in post dam session is more than in pre dam session. Actually year after year flood plain have been encroached and the floods of moderate magnitude flow steadily for days together,and another flood in quick succession coupled with phase of the moon , which keeps the sea level high , particularly during full moon days and new moon days. As per the Sadhan Satpathy of Center for Development Studies ,major changes in post Hirakund is the frequency of flood. As to her from 1951 to 1957 flood occurred in 78% of the year as compared to 44% from 1958-1984. The share of large and very large floods went down from 76% to 42% after the dam. The share of small and medium floods went up from 24% to 58% . The average intensity declined from 33,220 to 30,250 cumecs. So in this regard dam has positive impact. But , storage capacity of Hirahund Reservior is going out due to siltation .The dead storage level has come down to 0.15mham from 0.23mham by 1981. And the gross storage has been reduced to 0.66mham from 0.81mham at the beginning. In addition to this , filling of the reservoir in July for electricity generation purpose , leaves no space to accumulate excess main water towards end of August or September. Again , continuous and heavy rain fall in addition to excess release of water from the reservoir,creates flood havoc which would not have been the case in absence of dam

Environment degradation causes plethora of problems. Mismanagement and destruction of natural resources and destruction of natural resources leave people even more vulnerable.

Orissa , owning to its peculiar geographical location and wide range of physical features , embraces a diversified floristic composition and consequently a vast economic potential.

The extensive ranges of hilly forests , several lofty peaks , long stretch of coastline extensive river system ,brackish waters and coastal plains altogether have endowed the state with a wide range of ecological habitats for a diverse and broad spectrum of vegetation , but over the time forest have degraded, and degradation of forest is largely responsible for the changes in climate over the land , variation in rainfall patterns , global warming and rendering
The debate on whether climate changes causes calamities in orissa rages on .But nobody denies that environmental degradation in the state has let loose a chain of problems. Massive deforestation is not only destroying the livelihood of local people but also silting up river beds causing floods in the downstream coastal orissa.


  The KBK districts have been historically rich in forest resources.  Though the people have been using these forests very intensively and eking out their livelihood from this source, forests of this region have not received adequate investments and managerial inputs over time.  Intensive use of forests for sustenance coupled with lack of insufficient investments and managerial inputs are, thus, continuously leading to forest degradation.

The KBK region has still some of the natural wonderful forests. The old koraput district is covered by the eastern ghats while the old bolanghir district and kalahandi are the parts of the chattisgarh plateu.The forest are of dry deciduous type comprising of natural sal forests ,mixed  forest and small area growing natural teak. Bamboo species are prevalent in great density over large areas.

The Eight re-organized districts comprising the KBK region have a total geographical area of 47,646 sq kms.Out of this 16,857sq kms is variously recorded as forest land. However due to various reasons, these forests have degraded both in quality and quantity over the years. Some forest lands are now devoid of vegetal cover. Proportion of dense forest is considerably reduced.

An analysis of the satellite imaginary data (1997), one third (16,131 of the geographical area of this region is recorded as forests, only 11.3% (5,473 is actually dense forest (i.e., with crown density over 40%) as per satellite imagery data.  It has been further ascertained that 9% (4,332 forest area is completely devoid of vegetal cover.  Another 13.5% (6,327 forests are open having crown density more than 10% but less than 40%.

For afforestation and regeneration of degraded forest Govt. of India in the year 1988, initiated a special programme, Area Development Approach for Poverty Termination (ADAPT), was formulated and implemented in 15 blocks in two districts of the State: 8 blocks in Kalahandi and 7 blocks in Koraput district. This was undertaken in order to provide employment round the year to the rural poor and to change agricultural strategies.

  In due course, it was felt that short term strategies were not appropriate to address the multi-faceted backwardness of the region. Therefore,  a Long Term Action Plan (LTAP) for the three undivided districts of KBK (Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi) was prepared in 1993 in consultation with Govt. of India. The LTAP was conceptualized for a period of seven years from 1995-96 to 2001-02 with two objectives in view: (a) drought and distress proofing, and (b) poverty alleviation and development saturation. LTAP envisaged an outlay of Rs. 4557.03 crores. However, LTAP did not take off for want of availability of sufficient funds.

  In 1998, a Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) was submitted to Government of India as per their advice. The revised project was envisaged for a period of nine years from 1998-99 to 2006-07 with an outlay of Rs. 6251.06 crores.
Under the RLTAP its main objectives in respect of forest activities are :-

  1. Generating employment opportunities for local poor people ,particularly the tribal, to ensure food security and extend livelihood support.

  2. Increase forest cover in order to improve the climate conditions for better distribution of rains.

  3. Improve hygienic conditions of the forests for increased productivity.

Looking to the sea changes that RLTAP has produced in the KBK region by implementing various strategies we can say that RLTAP has been able to meet its objectives.

Achievements in last seven years due to implementation of RLTAP are as follows:-

The afforestation programme in KBK district under RLTAP started since 1998-1999 and 1,25,167ha area has brought under afforestation by the end of 2004-2005.


Under RLTAP ,144.13lakh man-day have been created in KBK districts since 1998.

3.Cultivation of medicinal plants over 95ha through 19 VSS have been completed to provide self employment through cultivation of medicinal plants.

4. Twenty five godowns have been constructed all over the districts for extending the involvement under Food for work programme.

5. Improved site condition –Plantation programme along with soil and water conservation method.

6. Conflict between foresters and community decreased.

7. Shifting cultivation decreased and fodder produce increased.

8. Engaged in procurement and selling of minor forest produce.


  • In order to enable forests to contribute substantially to the socioeconomic development of the region in the future, plantation of high value economic species such as teak, saal,gambhar ,bija o better sites need to be taken in gaps and blanks with active participation of people.

  • Strengthening of production base by plantation of non timber forest produce. This will in short term provide gainful employment ,and in long term provide opportunities for transferring income to rural poor on a sustained basis.
  • Timber trading is by far the most responsible factor for deforestation in orissa and KBK regions. proper manual need to be formulated regarding solving lease issues as these channels are used for legal and illegal trading of timber.

  • Large scale of timber is lost due to smuggling and trafficking .In order to save timber from smuggling high voltage power line are set up. Once the process starts not only is the tract clear felled but areas in and around the track is also are cut down. In the mean due to some clandestine activities allegedly some timber are cut down. Some regulations and monitoring body need to be formed to save from illegal trafficking.

  • The undivided districts of kalahandi , Bolangir and koraput have a huge chunk of bamboo forests which plays an integral role in the economy of the rural poor. So strengthening the bamboo production base by taking up plantation of different species of bamboo. This will in the short term provide gainful employment and in long term provide opportunities for transferring income to the rural poor on sustained basis.

  • One of the major reasons for degradation of forests in KBK region is the huge unrecorded removal from the forests as fuel wood and small timber.Charcoal making is also prevalent in some region. Total removals are in much excess of the sustainable annual yields of the forests. So there is urgent need to increase the production potential of these forests to meet the increasing demand for timber and other forest products.

  • The KBK districts of orissa are known for tremendous natural bouty in the shape of aromatic and medicinal plants. A project on plantation of aromatic and medicinal plantation need to be taken in degraded land of KBK district. In addition to the above operations under the component of aromatic &medicinal plantation , Jathropha need to be planted along the boundary of all plantation sites covered under NTFP plantation and Indigenous mixed fuel wood plantation.


We, in India, in participation of the community and people must rededicate ourselves to the protection and wise management of our life sustaining environment.

If the world is saved,

It will be saved with changed minds,

People with anew vision

It will not be saved by people

With old minds and new programs

It will not be saved by people

With the old vision but anew program

David Quines

We began this paper with a story of Bhagwau sahoo , a story of environmental degradation leading to economic deprivation and migration .We like to end it with a another story of same region This is the story of hope , of what is possible when a community gets together to save the environment.

The story of Kudupatti tells us how the village folk took interest and started reviving the forest .It also demonstrates the hurdles they had to face from the government but still tried to maintain their efforts.


  • Analyzing the NRM of Orissa has given us ore view of the natural resources of the orissa and especially about the KBK districts.

  • KBK districts have plethora of resources and people of that place depend heavily on forest and agriculture for their livelihood .But due to vagaries of monsoon they face frequent drought and floods which leads to loss of natural resources .In the last seven years Revised long term action plan in KBK districts on socio-economic issues have made considerable changes .So, we can say that critical gaps in the development as well as resources can be bridged through systematic plan and monitoring of the project.

  • A successful plan can make changes in the life of the people of that area. It brings out alternative livelihood opportunities to the people.

  • Natural resource can’t be preserved only with government intervention but community participation is also needed. Without community participation we can’t preserve our natural resources.
  • To assure community participation we have to assure that the benefits of natural resources must percolate to the community.

  • Providing knowledge input to community can help them face drought and flood in a better way and their life will not be hampered to great extent by such natural calamities.


  1. Key document:-State of orissa’s environment –A citizen’s report ;council of professional social workers Bhubaneswar.

  2. Orissa flood report 2004-7th September 2004 (orissa flood SITREP)

  3. UNDP-United Nations House ,Bhubaneswar

  4. Case studies –DFID.

  5. Down to earth magazine.

  6. Orissa review (A Monthly magazine)-JUNE-2005;An article by prasant Sarangi

  7. KBK region official

  8. A document from government of orissa; Planning and co-ordination Department.


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