User agencies of CAT Plan projects must pay up soon: Nadda

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Shimla, Sep 8 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister Jagat Prakesh Nadda today directed the officers concerned to take immediate steps for realisation of balance amount of Catchment Area Treatment (CAT) Plans funds of Sutlej, Ravi and Beas basins from the user agencies so that environmental conservation activities could be expedited in the state.

Himachal Pradesh Forest Department has spent Rs 334 crores on 21 CAT Plans in the state for which user agencies have deposited Rs 184 crores so far while the balance amount of Rs 150 crores is still pending, he said while addressing a review meeting of forest department here today.

He said that all user agencies should be directed to deposit the balance amount of Rs 150 crores at the earliest.

He said that the issue of payment of environmental services should be developed as an integral component of CAT Plans of all projects to ensure involvement of local people. The size and cost of projects should be kept in view while preparing the CAT plans of the projects and added that emphasis should be given on outsourcing of activities of CAT Plan to achieve the desired progress and to maintain the pace.

Forest Conservation Act, 1980 stipulates preparation and implementation of Catchment Area Treatment Plans for integrated treatment of Catchment Areas of hydel projects above 10 MW.

UNI XC PS MMS1835

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