HP to increase green cover, says Nadda

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Shimla, Mar 12 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister J P Nadda today said the state has been included in the Rs 365 crore Mid Himalayan Watershed Development Project (MHWDP), which is being implemented with financial assistance from the World Bank.

Under this project, Himachal Pradesh had been selected for reforestation in the entire mid Himalayan region, reclamation of degraded lands and improving the livelihood of communities through bio-carbon revenue project, he said while addressing a high-level meeting of senior officers of the government and the world bank.

Mr Nadda said 602 gram-panchayats of 42 development blocks of 10 districts, excluding all tribal areas of the state had been brought under the project.

He said the world bank was contributing Rs 270 crore whereas the share of the state government and targetted beneficiaries would be Rs 67.50 crore and Rs 27.50 crore respectively.

''Under this project, the reforestation activities would be carried out on 12,000 hectares of community, forest and private lands,'' he said, adding ''The plantations would be done on the basis of soil texture, climatic conditions, area based needs and requirements of the people, which would go a long way in generating revenue and income to the owner besides protecting the eco-system.'' The target would be achieved within the next three years, he added.

The Forest Minister assured that all possible help and cooperation would be extended to the world bank by the state government officials for speedy implementation of the project and all bottlenecks would be removed.

He called upon the members of high-powered committee to see that meetings were frequently held to discuss the problems and resolve them forthwith.

Mr Nadda thanked the world bank authorities for approval of the Kandi Project as well as the Bio-Carbon Revenue Project in a time bound manner.

''Himachal Pradesh has emerged as the first model state in the country for preparing the project design document of Bio-Carbon Revenue Project for final approval of the world bank authorities,'' he said.

''This project would proved to be helpful in realising the dream of the state government to bring about prosperity and financial self-reliance of the masses as per the party manifesto, which has been made policy document of Government,'' he added.

UNI AS PS SW BD2040

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