J&K to be part of NITI Aayog’s Himalayan State Regional Council

Panel to oversee sustainable development of 12 Himalayan states, regions

Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 17 2018 1:11AM | Updated Date: Nov 17 2018 1:11AM
J&K to be part of NITI Aayog’s Himalayan State Regional CouncilFile Photo

Jammu and Kashmir has been made a part of the Himalayan State Regional Council (HSRC) constituted by the NITI Aayog to ensure sustainable development of the region.

A notification issued by the NITI Aayog said the HSRC will be the nodal agency for sustainable development in the Himalayan region, including J&K.

A senior official said the state’s chief secretary will be a member of the council. The council, he said, will monitor implementation of action points for central ministries, institutions and 12 Himalayan state governments.

The action points include river basin development; regional cooperation; spring mapping and revival across Himalayas for water security; develop, implement and monitor tourism sector standards and strengthening skill and entrepreneurship.

The notification states that Himalayan region consists of J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, two districts of Assam namely Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong, and Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal.

Member NITI Aayog Dr VK Saraswat will be chairman of the council.

The council was constituted to review and implement action points identified by five working groups the NITI Aayog had formed in June 2017 to prepare a roadmap for actions in five thematic areas that hold significance for the Himalayas.

These areas were: inventory and revival of springs in Himalayas for water security, sustainable tourism in Indian Himalayan region, transformative approach to shifting cultivation, strengthening skill and entrepreneurship landscape in Himalayas besides data/information for informed decision making.

“These working groups were constituted after the NITI Aayog recognised that mountains require specific solutions for resilience building that address socio-economic and environmental challenges in the mountain setting,” reads the notification.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir business community welcomed the decision.

Chairman PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashmir Chapter Mushtaq Chaya said: “The constitution of the council has given impetus to the suggestions made by PHDCCI Hilly States Council and the HSRC can regularly assess and rank Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) states based on their performance (in protecting their natural resources and ecosystem) and provide recommendations for incentives.”

President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Ashiq welcomed J&K’s inclusion in the HSRC.

“Earlier the central government had left out J&K from the industrial package which was extended to north eastern states,” he said.

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