The basic object of the programme is to minimise the adverse effect of drought and control desertification through rejuvenation of natural resource base of the identified desert areas. The programme strives to achieve ecological balance in the long run. The programme also aims at promoting overall economic development and improving the socio-economic conditions of the resource poor and disadvantaged sections inhabiting the programme areas.


Upto 1994-95, Desert Development Programme was under implementation in 131 blocks of 21 districts in 5 States. The Hanumantha Rao Committee recommended:-

- Inclusion of 32 new blocks; and

- Transfer of 64 blocks from DPAP to DDP.

Inclusion of new blocks and transfer of blocks from DPAP to DDP was agreed to. Thus, from 1995-96 total blocks covered under DDP became 227 in 40 districts of 7 States. Subsequently, with the re-organization of Districts and Blocks, the programme is now covered in 235 blocks of 40 districts in 7 States. The corresponding physical area under the programme is about 4.57 lakh sq. kms. The details are given at Annexure 1.

Cost Norms & Funding pattern

The Central share under each type of eco-system under DDP was as under:

Hot Arid Non Sandy Areas


Hot Arid Sandy Areas


Cold Arid Areas


The above Central share was applicable up to 31st March, 1999.  With effect from 1st April , 1999, the programme is being funded on the basis of 75:25.   In all these cases for the watershed projects being sanctioned on or after this date.  From 1.4.1995 till 31.3.2000, the cost of each ranged between Rs. 22.50 lakhs to Rs. 25 lakhs.  With effect from 1.4.2000, a uniform rate of Rs. 30 lakh per project has been prescribed.

Physical Performance Of The DDP

Since the adoption of watershed approach in the year 1995-96 till 2005-2006, 13476 projects have been sanctioned to treat 67.38 lakh hectares of arid area. The year-wise details of projects sanctioned from 1995-96 to 2005-06 are at Annexure 2. The project period of 2194 projects sanctioned from 1995-96 to 1998-99 has however been over; of these 1894 projects are deemed complete and funding stopped to 300 projects. Among 11282 projects sanctioned from 1999-2000 to 2005-06, 689 projects are deemed complete and 10593 projects are ongoing as on 31.3.2006. Thus, a total of 2583 projects are deemed complete, funding stopped to 300 projects and 10593 projects are ongoing.

The Union Government sanctions new projects every year taking in to consideration primarily the DDP coverage in the States, performance of the on-going projects, capacity to absorb new projects and annual budget outlay etc. During the year 2005-06, 2000 new watershed projects have been sanctioned under DDP to treat an area of 10 lakh hectares at a total cost of Rs. 600.00 crore over a period of five years. The Central share is Rs. 450 crore out of which the amount of first installment i.e. Rs. 67.50 crore has been released to the programme States. These projects will be implemented in accordance with the provisions contained in the Guidelines for Hariyali.

Area Treated

The area treated under DDP so far is given below:-

From inception till 31.3.1995      -    5.15 lakh ha.

From 1.4.1995 till 2005-06

Area Treated In lakh hectares

























Financial Performance

A. The total amount committed for these 13476 projects (sanctioned from 1995-96-2005-06) is Rs. 3817.68 crores of which Rs. 2952.67 crores is the central share. From 1995-96 to 2005-2006, an amount of Rs. 1568.79 crore has been released. The year-wise details of funds released to the programme States since 1995-96 to 2004-2005 are at Annexure 3. The budget outlay for 2006-067under DDP is Rs.270crore against which Rs. 7.67 crore has been released upto 19.5.2006.

B. A review of the progress made in implementation of 13476 DDP Projects sanctioned from 1995-96 till 2005-06, in terms of amount that should have been claimed and amount actually claimed (as on 31.01.2006) indicates that the financial performance of this programme for all the States is about 72.34.