Updated: July 29, 2019 5:06:08 am
RECOGNISING THEIR role in security at international borders and contribution to environment conservation, the Himalayan states demanded the Centre for a green bonus and creation of a separate ministry to deal with problems of the region. Representatives of 10 of the 11 Himalayan states made the demand to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the one-day conclave of Himalayan states held in Mussoorie on Sunday.
Apart from Assam, chief ministers, ministers, bureaucrats and other experts from 10 other Himalayan states participated in the conclave and presented a common agenda before the Finance Minister. Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur — took part in the conclave.
“Representatives of all the states gave a common agenda to Union Finance Minister. For their environment service, Himalayan states should get a green bonus. The states will make effective contribution in water conservation mission of the Prime Minister,” said Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Rawat added that the states expressed their expectations of financial assistance from the Centre in programmes of conservation and rejuvenation of rivers and other Centre sponsored schemes.
In the meeting, states also demanded that their borders areas be developed on a priority basis to prevent migration, considering the issue of security.
Rawat said that Finance Minister, Niti Aayog and the 15th Finance Commission have assured them of a separate plan for Himalayan states in the Budget.
On the demand of green bonus, Rawat said that the states have contributed to environment protection which is beneficial for the entire country.
“The states concerned have the primary responsibility of security. Hence, the green bonus have been demanded considering the sensitivity,” Rawat said.
Sitharaman stressed on the security issue at borders in these states. She added that villages located at borders are eyes and ears of the Defence ministry.
According to a release from the state government, Sitharaman in her address said that special efforts like start-ups for youths and development of basic facilities are required to stop migration from border areas.
The Himalayan states also passed a ‘Mussoorie Resolution’ pledging to make endeavours to protect and conserve the rich Himalayan heritage and ethos and nurture the wealth of biodiversity.
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