There is concluded that forest covered 640819

There is significant
relationship of human being along with all environmental resources. Water, soil
as land, vegetation as forest and air these environmental resources play
significant and irreplaceable role in human life. These resources determined
the social welfare and the development of human being and ultimately it indicate
the development status of the region.

Naturally water, land and
vegetation resources are considerably connected and depended on each other.
Vegetation is depending on land and water resources. Good quality of land and
availability of water are favorable situation for development of sufficient
vegetation cover and presence of vegetation cover prevents soil erosion as well
as helps for ground water recharge. Simultaneously, water depends on land and
vegetation. Sufficient vegetation accompanying with good quality of soil absorb
good amount of rainwater and store it as well. It means up gradation of
environment taking place when vegetation, soil and water is maintaining in the
proportional account. If the system gets disturbed it resulted into
environmental degradation. (sagar mali thesis) 

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In now days, the
uncontrolled extraction of natural resources, expansion of industrial
activities and growth of urbanization has reduced the water retention capacity
of many watersheds. It resulted in the sense of decreasing amount of
vegetation, land degradation, water scarcity and decreasing water quality.

ENVIS Centre on Forestry
hosted by Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun sponsored by Ministry of
Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India (GoI) analyzed
changing trends of forest cover in Indian states and Union Territories (UT)
though 1987 to 2013. This report is concluded that forest covered 640819 km2
areas in 1987 which is reached up to 697898 km2. Though there
is increasing trend in forest cover area it is not constant. It is continuously
fluctuating. Though Maharashtra state recorded 45616 km2 areas out
of geographical area in 1987 and it is increased up to 50632 km2 out
of geographical area in 2013, shows continuous fluctuation. The forest area was
decreasing from 1987 to 1995. In 1997 and 2007 it was increased but the
fluctuations are still continued. National Institution for Transforming India
(NITI Aayog), Government of India and Forest Survey of India (FSI) both are
remarked that, though the forest cover is going too increased it is not up to
the mark. Only 21.23 % area out of the geographical area for India and 16.45 %
area out of the geographical area for Maharashtra is covered by forests wherein
basic requirement is minimum 33%.

According to National Bureau
of Soil Survey and Land use planning (NBSS & LUP) report conducted in 2005
stated about 146.82 million hectare area is reported to be suffering from
various kinds of land degradation in India. Out of which 13055 thousand
hectares area (42.4% of geographical area) belongs from Maharashtra state.

As per the directed by Bureau of Indian Standards, IS:
1172-1993, a
minimum water supply of 200
litres per capita per day (LPCD) should be provided for
domestic consumption in cities with full flushing systems. As per IS: 1172-1993
directions it reduces up to 135 LPCD for the low income group (LIG) and
economically weaker sections (EWS) in small cities (Government of India 1997,
2002; Modi, 1998; Shaban and Sharma, 2007). The National Commission on
Urbanization (NCU) (1988) suggested that 90-100 litres per day per
capita water supply are needed to hygienic existence (Ramachandraiah 2001). The
World Health Organization (WHO) organizes the supply and access to water in
four service categories, i. e. no access (water availability below 5 LPCD);
basic access (average approximately 20 LPCD); intermediate access (average
approximately 50 LPCD); and optimal access (average of 100-200) (WHO 2003).
According to review of these reports, water is substantial aspect for survival.

Therefore sustainable development and management of
these natural resources is the need of time. In this point of view sustainable
management programs are drafted by various administrative units. But planning, implementation, administration, management and
evaluation of these development plans are having difficulties because an
administrative area is the combination of various physical, biological aspects
and economical diversities. Hence planning, implementation and management
become very difficult. Therefore watershed approach is useful for conservation
and development of natural resources.

Watershed
approach to Conservation and Development of Natural Resources:

Policymaker and planner
always raised the question, why a watershed should be considered as a natural
resource and development planning unit? In order to answer this question it is
important to define the term ‘watershed’. Soil Conservation Society of America
(SCSA) defined the term as, Watershed is a geo-hydrological unit comprised of
all land and water within the confines of a drainage divide. It is a
topographically delineated area draining into a single channel and captures
rainfall and conveys the overland flow and runoff to an outlet in the main flow
channel.  Watershed unit is characterized
by the same community and unique socio-economic practices. It deals with both
notions i.e. bio-physiography and socio-economy and comprising all natural
resources, people and their economic activities (Gopal B. Thapa). Therefore
integrated watershed development method is become popular and implementable for
watershed development and in the sense of sustainable planning of natural
resources.