Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has underlined the need for formulating a composite policy for all Himalayan regions and constitution of a Himalayan States Development Authority to strike a balance between socio-economic growth and fragile ecology.
Inaugurating a seminar Resurgent Uttarakhand at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on Friday, Bahuguna said for sustainable development, there is a need to maintain a balance growth and environment.
“Bearing this in mind the state government has decided that development and rehabilitation work in Uttarakhand would be done in consultation with scientists so that the fragile Himalayan ecology is not harmed in the process,” Bahuguna said.
Underlining the need for constitution of a Himalayan States Development Authority, he said all concerned would have to ensure that the state did not compromise on its economic and social development in order to conserve the environment and ecology.
He said the state government has taken several significant measures after the mid June disaster including imposition of total ban on construction along river banks.
Regulation of the number of pilgrims visiting the state will also soon be done, the Uttarakhand chief minister said.
Compensation has been provided in 96 percent of the cases and despite adverse conditions relief has been distributed in every village, he added.
Delivering the keynote address at the seminar, Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh backed the views expressed by the chief minister and declared that a balance had to be maintained between natural resource utilisation and development.
If states like Uttarakhand were prevented from utilisation of natural resources because of environmental concerns, then they needed to be provided compensation.
He recalled that he had supported payment of a Green Bonus to Uttarakhand for a long time.
The minister accepted that regulating the number of visitors to pilgrim destinations would pose a challenge.
It was, however, important to regulate them because it applied pressure not only on the environment, but also the local infrastructure.