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Volume: III Part I Section: 1 Page No:

1

Part I Section 1: Introduction The Satluj Basin from Kol Dam to Spiti comprises of 17 Community Development Blocks either completely or partially. In order to do socio-economic study NERIL conducted field survey in all these Community Development Blocks. For survey the random sampling size comprised of minimum 10% of the revenue villages and 5 nos. of households up to a total of 250 households, in case of households exceeding 250 nos. an additional household was surveyed for increase of every 50 households thereafter. Table below shows the random sample size of each community development block. S. No.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Community Development Block Ani Basantpur Bilaspur Gohar Janjheli Kalpa Karsog Kunihar Mashobra Narkanda Nichar Nirmand Pooh Rampur Sunder Nagar Theog

Revenue Villages in Satluj Basin Total Sampled 17 4 197 20 8 1 7 1 37 4 66 7 415 42 83 9 197 20 168 17 88 9 26 6 80 8 239 24 62 7 82 9

Households Total 2343 1141 323 42 443 1398 2259 351 641 2255 957 2750 860 2515 1000 598

Sampled 48 100 7 5 22 39 195 45 100 88 45 55 40 121 39 45

The secondary and primary data collected during the field investigations revealed that the catchments have a general slope ranging from 20 to 85 %. The farmers invariably practiced mixed farming comprising of Horticulture, Agriculture, Vegetable cultivation and Animal Husbandry. Less than 10% area has assured irrigation. Some of the catchments had even less than 5% irrigated area. Farming, therefore, is rain fed. Manures, both organic as well as chemical are applied in insufficient quantities, mainly due to three reasons, i) due to lack of purchasing power of the farmers, ii) non availability of sufficient quantities of organic manures and iii) insufficient soil moisture during the crop growth period. It is therefore, desired that more area be brought under irrigation. Since the landscape is sloppy and most of the rains occur during the monsoon season from June to September, efforts should be made to conserve as much water as possible. This can be achieved by making liberal use of organic manures and practicing organic farming. Therefore, it is desired that at least some area under fruit plants, field crops and vegetable crops be put under organic farming. This on one hand will give chemical free products to the consumers fetching higher returns to the farmers and on the other hand will improve the physical properties of soil thereby improving the water holding capacity of soil resulting in more retention of rain water which ultimately will lead to reduction in runoff losses and thereby silt load in the river water system.

Comprehensive CAT Plan of Satluj River Basin


Volume: III Part I Section: 1 Page No:

2

During the field surveys it was observed that a sizable number of orchards have become senile. This has resulted not only in poor yields from the orchards but the reduced vegetative soil cover has left the soil open to be eroded by heavy rainfall showers. Such orchards need to be rejuvenated in phased manner. It was also noticed during the field visits that the farmers are growing field crops on sloppy lands. At places cultivation is done across the contours even on lands having more than 35 to 40% slopes. The field crops need repeated tillage which makes the soil more prone to erosion. In order to conserve the rain water in situ, such lands need to be terraced and wherever the terraces have got damaged, they need to be repaired and the bunds strengthened by earth work and suitable grass species. In slopes beyond 30%, it is in fact desired that such lands be put under fruit plants which do not need intensive tillage. At places where even fruit plant cultivation is not possible it is recommended that better quality grasses with fodder trees in between be grown. In the whole terrain it is desired that the farmers should resort to conservation type of farming instead of soil depleting farming processes. In addition to some of such practices outlined above, farm ponds, community as well as individual ones should be constructed in the watersheds so that as much runoff water is stored as possible. This on one hand will help in reducing the soil and water erosion while on the other hand will make water available for raising crops thus improving the economic conditions of the farmers. The livestock population in the catchments is invariably very high. This though has added to the cattle wealth of the farmers but has put unbearable pressure on the land holdings, pasture lands and forest lands. The fodder availability both green as well as dry is less than 50% which leads to pressure on grazing and forest lands. The farmers while meeting the fodder needs from adjoining forests resort to indiscriminate lopping and cutting of forest trees which has resulted in forest cover reduction. Over grazing leads to loss of soil cover, that in turn becomes prone to erosion due to rains. It is, therefore, desired that stall feeding is encouraged. This will require improvement in carrying capacity of existing grass lands and bringing more area under grasses and fodder trees. Some green fodders may be grown in cultivated fields also. The Department of Animal Husbandry has established Artificial Insemination (AI) centers so as to improve the breeds of cattle. This has benefited a large number of farmers in improving their live stock but AI has its limitations also. One, the success rate of AI is not more than 60% and at the same time distantly located AI centers cannot be approached easily. It was noticed during the field surveys that farmers subject their cattle to natural breeding, very often through indiscreet bulls. This has slowed down the process of cattle improvement, resulting in unsatisfactory average milk yield of cows. It is therefore, recommended that at least one Natural Breeding Centers (NBC), be opened in each micro-watershed. These centers will be easily approachable by the farmers so as to avail the services of proven quality breeding bulls.

The excessive population of live stock in the catchments has lead to under feeding, malnutrition and insufficient health care of animals. This has lead to infertility particularly in cattle. Such animals have been abandoned by the farmers causing the stray cattle menace. In order to minimize this menace, it is recommended that 'Gosadans' to accommodate 100 cattle heads be opened in each CD block. The Section 2 of this report consist of primary and secondary data collected through field survey, analysis of the data and amount needed in each CD Block.

Comprehensive CAT Plan of Satluj River Basin


Vol3-Intro