Eleven States belonging to Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) asked for ‘Green Bonus’ from the Centre considering their contribution to environmental conservation. They also want the Centre to set up a dedicated Ministry for this region. Details
Indian Himalayan Region ● IHR is the section of the Himalayas within India, spanning 11 Indian states (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand) & 2 districts of Bengal and that runs along 2500 km of Himalayan ranges between Indus river basin in the North-West and Brahmaputra in the East. ● Approximately 9,000 glaciers of IHR store about 12,000 km³ of freshwater. ● This region is endowed with rich vegetation & is home to almost 36% of India’s total biodiversity. ● More than 41.5% area of IHR states is under forests, representing 1/3rd of total forest cover of India & nearly half (47%) of the “very good” forest cover of the country. ● The total geographical area of IHR states is approximately 591,000 sq. km (18% of India) and it is inhabited by about 3.8% of the country’s population. ● The strategic importance of the IHR is evident from the fact that IHR states share borders with 6 neighboring countries.
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- These States assembled for the first time on a platform titled, ‘Conclave of the Himalayan States’ and held their meeting in Dehradun.
- The States asked for help to develop hydropower resources, subsidies for their environmental protection measures which deny them normal ‘development models’, and recognition of their efforts to meet human development parameters.
- The meeting was presided over by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Chairman of 15th Finance Commission N K Singh, Deputy Chairman of the NITI Aayog Rajiv Kumar beside Chief Ministers, special representatives of some the North Eastern States and Jammu & Kashmir and senior Government officials.
- Sitharaman said that these States are an important part of India and their development is high on Centre’s agenda.
- She asked these States to focus on preventing migration from the villages located in the bordering area while adding that Panchayati Raj Institutions can play an important role in curbing migration.
- The states further asked the Finance Commission to take into account the high-Cost Disability Factor of IHR states as these states are prone to disasters and to provide extra funds for mitigating/dealing with disasters.