Himalayan States demand separate Ministry, green bonus

first_imgHimalayan States on Sunday came together at a conclave here to demand a separate Ministry to deal with problems endemic to them and a green bonus in recognition of their contribution to environment conservation.The twin demands formed part of a common agenda of the Himalayan States which was handed over to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the end of the conclave, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat told reporters after the event.Ten out of 11 States took part in the conclave. It is for the first time that the Himalayan States have come on a single platform to take a unanimous stand on the issue of green bonus and demanded a separate Ministry to deal with problems unique to them.Explaining the rationale behind the demand for a green bonus, Mr. Rawat said most of the country’s rivers originate in the Himalayas and therefore, the Himalayan States had to play the most significant role in the Prime Minister’s water conservation initiative.He said it was also necessary because the Himalayan States’ contribution to environmental conservation was the biggest with all their green cover. The Himalayan States were also at a disadvantage because large swathes of land fell into eco-sensitive zones where all sorts of development activities could not be carried out.A green bonus thus was needed to compensate the Himalayan States for their disadvantages, Mr. Rawat said.last_img

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