The World Bank has agreed,in principle,to sanction US $ 450 million programmatic development policy loan for sustainable environmental growth of Himachal Pradesh,in view of its track record on environmental growth.
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal,who reached Delhi last evening,said,This could be the highest ever World Bank funding which Himachal Pradesh has managed to get for environment-related projects.
Before leaving for Delhi he had met top World Bank officials in Washington to finalise the broad modalities on funding. The visit has proved to be quite successful and beneficial for the state, he said this morning before leaving for Indore to attend the BJP national executive meeting.
The state will now put in more towards its endeavour for environment protection. Till now,the government has been spending from its own resources. Now with World Bank assistance,the government will supplement its initiatives to phase out obsolete technologies and take-up new research and development to combat the effects of climate change, Dhumal said.
At the meeting,the CM apprised the World Bank of its ambitious and unique community led assessment,awareness,advocacy and action programme (CLAP) for environment protection and carbon neutrality through school children and civil society at gram panchayat level.
The state government is already implementing World Bank funded Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development project,which has already become a model for taking-up future projects with linkage to livelihood issues of the local communities and engaged them in environment protection.
Dhumal had led a high level delegation to Costa Rica to study environment protection models and also to tie up with the World Bank to replicate the Costa Rica model in Himachal Pradesh.
Forest minister J P Nadda,Additional Chief Secretary (Forest) Avey Shukla and top officials of the Forest and Environment departments accompanied him.