Diversified conglomerate ITC has entered a partnership with the Karnataka government to execute a watershed development programme, covering over one million acres and 100 watersheds in the state.
The memorandum of understanding, signed between ITC’s social investments programme Mission Sunehra Kal and the Karnataka Watershed Development Department on March 5, will be in effect for three years. The agreement is part of the state government’s ‘Watershed development for drought proofing’ programme, which aims at covering 1.16 million acres of watershed area in 29 districts, a statement by ITC said on Monday.
ITC will create a consortium of experts to train the government team to apply the company’s drought-proofing framework for planning, implementation, and monitoring of the programme.
Ashesh Ambasta, executive vice president and head, Social Investments, ITC, said, “For years, ITC has been at the forefront of water stewardship programmes in India, and our efforts have been focussed on scaling up integrated watershed development projects across different states. Our initiatives are aligned with government missions like Jal Shakti Abhiyan and More Crop Per Drop. It is a matter of immense satisfaction to be able to partner with the state government of Karnataka. We are delighted to be able to support the government in its laudable endeavour to tackle water stress.”
Venkatesh M.V, commissioner, Watershed Development Department, government of Karnataka, said, “ITC through its CSR programmes is implementing watershed development programmes in many parts of the country in general, and Karnataka in particular. We felt that they can add value to the programme … ITC [will carry out] trainings on drought proofing and support for the programme’s implementation. This would be a unique public-private partnership in the state for watershed development.”