As part of the State government’s efforts to assist the natives who have returned to Uttarakhand during the Covid pandemic and to revive the state’s economy, the State’s Watershed Management, Tourism and Culture minister Satpal Maharaj met the Union minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur and submitted a proposal amounting to Rs 1,000 crore for watershed development projects.
Meeting Thakur in the national capital on Saturday, Maharaj informed him that the World Bank funded Uttarakhand decentralised watershed development project (Gramya) phase II is a successful project. This project is playing an effective role towards achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling farmer income by 2022 and reviving natural sources of water. The project will also prove useful in increasing livelihood opportunities for the natives who have returned to Uttarakhand due to the Covid pandemic. This project will be ending in September 2021. Considering its importance for the Himalayan state, a recommendation for extending it by three years and providing US$ 90 million additional funding should be sent to the World Bank, said Maharaj.
He further informed that the state’s watershed development department has been executing various externally funded watershed projects in the remote Himalayan regions of the state for about four decades now. These projects have played an important role in conservation of the water and land resources of the Himalayan state.
Maharaj and Thakur also had detailed discussions on projects proposed after September 2021 amounting to Rs 1,000 crore (US$128 million). Out of the Rs 1,000 crore, the World Bank would provide Rs 684 crore, the State would provide 25 per cent while the remaining five per cent will be shared by the beneficiary. Maharaj also informed Thakur that the remote villages of the state which had earlier become deserted have now come alive after the return of natives from other states. Considering this, the state is attempting to facilitate livelihood opportunities for such persons in their villages. The Union MoS assured Maharaj that he would make a serious effort on the proposal submitted to him. The recommendation for extending the project by three years and funding it will be presented to the World Bank soon, added Thakur.
Sunday, 02 August 2020 | PNS | Dehradun