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Himachal To Put Rs 365 Crore Environment Plan Before World Bank

By incorporating lessons learnt in Costa Rica about sustainable management of natural resources, the Himachal government is preparing a comprehensive environment plan that would be put to World Bank for funding; the Himachal assembly was told today.

In response to a question by Gangu Ram Mussafir (Congress) who sought to know what the state stood to gain by the delegation led by chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal that recently visited Costa Rica, forest minister JP Nadda responded that a Rs 365 crore environment plan would be submitted to the World Bank after incorporating the experiences of the study tour to the central American country in the field of environment.

The eight-member HP team led by chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, which also included Nadda had toured Costa Rica and in between had also met chairman of the World Bank during the February 10 to February 19, 2010 visit.

The minister said that if approved, the World Bank funding of the project would be available as 90 per cent grant and 10 per cent soft loan.

Speaking about the tour, the minister said that Costa Rica’s efficient environment management system had helped it to increase its forest cover from 21 per cent to 51 per cent in the last two decades. The government is study ways and means to adopt Costa Rica system of payment made for environment services delivered among others.

He said that the BJP government was committed for making the state carbon neutral and for achieving such an objective a drive to plant broad leave trees in 4000 hectares would be started.

The minister also informed the house that the chief minister in his meeting with the World Bank chief sought extension of the Mid Himalayan Watershed Project from the present 602 panchayats to over 2000 panchayats in the hill state.

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Author: ih

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