HP all set to sign agreement with World Bank for carbon projects

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Shimla, Jul 20 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Government is all set to sign an agreement with World Bank authorities by the end of current calendar year to secure funds for implementation of the bio carbon project, which would be first of its kind in the country.

State Chief Minister P K Dhumal said after a meeting with World Bank team headed by Norman, which called on him here, after inspecting various World Bank funded watershed development projects in different parts of the state here last evening.

Mr Dhumal said it would be first project of its kind in the country and besides earning carbon credits also go a long way in preserving the environment and ecology and help in checking green house gas emissions in Himalayan region.

The World Bank authorities had agreed in principal to finance the bio-carbon project for the state for which modalities were being worked out and necessary preparations were being made to implement the project, he said.

He said bio-carbon project design document was being prepared by experts in consultation with the World Bank authorities so that the same could be posed for funding.

An integrated policy for medicinal plants would be framed for implementation by the departments of agriculture, horticulture, ayurveda, forest and animal husbandry, he said.

The Chief Minister said the state had been executing the watershed development projects effectively which had motivated the financing agencies to finance the state in other such activities more liberally.

He emphasized the need to formulate a comprehensive plan for the execution of the watershed development projects and to implement the same in a time bound manner so that benefits percolated to the targeted groups within the stipulated time.

J.P. Nadda, Forest and Environment Minister, said the state was concerned about preservation of its environment and no anti-nvironment activities were being permitted.

The state government was committed to protect the environment to maintain ecological balance in the Himalayan region, he said.

Avay Shukla, Additional Chief Secretary, informed about the World Bank initiatives for the state and detailed the projects under execution in the state.

Constant contact with the Bank authorities was being maintained to finalise the modalities required for the bio-carbon project financing, he added.

Mr Norman, World Bank Team Leader, congratulated the Chief Minister for envisioning the carbon credit project for the state which was unique in itself and first of its type in the entire South East Asia.

He said the Bank was satisfied with the quality of work of various World Bank funded projects under execution in the state but emphasized the need to speed up the same which would benefit the state and the people immensely as the cost escalations were disturbing the plans of projects.

UNI AS HS JS1954

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