Nishank demands Rs 1000 cr green bonus for forest conservation

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 18:52

Dehra Dun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh
Pokhriyal Nishank on Wednesday demanded Rs 1,000 crore `green bonus`
every year from the Centre for conservation of forests in the
hill state.

"According to studies, conducted by various agencies,
forests in Uttarakhand provide ecological services worth Rs
35,000-Rs 40,000 crore to the country every year. So the
demand of Rs 1,000 crore green bonus per annum is nominal in
lieu of the services being provided by the state," he said.

The state needs the fund for conservation of forests and
environment, Nishank told reporters here.
The Chief Minister claimed he had raised the issue last
year with Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to which
the Congress leader agreed in principle.

However, till now no progress has been made in this
connection, he alleged.

Nishank also criticised the Centre for not allotting
funds
to the state in the ratio of 90:10, which "it should get for
being a special category state".
"The central funds under most of the schemes are being
given in the ratio of 67:33 for the last few years," he said.

He also sought change in forest norms for the hill state,
saying the current guidelines are affecting developmental
works. Under the current norms, if forest land is taken for
construction of road or any other project, the state has to
give double the size of the plot to forest department.

"Uttarakhand has only 35 per cent land for non-forestry
activities. These norms not only delays various developmental
schemes but also escalates the cost of the projects manifold,"
the chief minister said.

He also reiterated his demand of revival of Concessional
Industrial Package (CIP), which expired last year.

The package should be given till 2023 as after its expiry
the pace of industrial growth in the state has been slowed
down, Nishank said, adding that the average growth rate within
the concessional period from 2003-04 to 09-10 was 18 per cent
per annum which came down to 9.1 per cent during the post
concession period.

On denial of more funds by the Centre for dealing with
the situation created due to natural disasters last year, the
CM said he has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
demanding more assistance as Rs 500 crore Central aid was not
enough in view of the huge devastation caused by the natural
calamities.

He also sought a separate Central fund for management of
large number of pilgrims visiting various religious places in
the state.

Nishank also demanded a separate Himalayan policy as well
as a ministry for dealing with the issues of hill states.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 18:52

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