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Sh. Satpal Maharaj submits Rs 1000 crore proposal for Watershed Development Projects to Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur

Uttarakhand Government is constantly working to increase the livelihood opportunities for the unemployed youth of the state and the migrants returning to Uttarakhand during Covid-19 epidemic. As part of his efforts to bring back the economy of the state which was effected by the lockdown due to acute epidemic, the Honorable Minister of Tourism & Culture of Uttarakhand, Shri Satpal Maharaj met Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur for water development projects and submitted proposals worth 1000 crores.

Sh. Satpal Maharaj during his meeting with Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur in New Delhi, told him that the Gramya Phase-II, a World Bank-funded Uttarakhand Decentralized Watershed Development Project being implemented in the state of Uttarakhand, is a successful project. This project is playing an active role in Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji’s doubling of farmers’ income by 2022 and realizing the concept of promotion and revival of natural water sources. Shri Satpal Maharaj said that this project will prove to be extremely beneficial for the migrants who have returned to Uttarakhand after the global pandemic Covid-19 in increasing and supporting livelihood opportunities.

Shri Satpal Maharaj told Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Anurag Thakur that this project under the name of Gramya-2 will be completed by September 2021. Therefore, this project which is very important for our Himalayan state, apart from extending for 3 years, the proposal for additional funding of US $ 90 million should be sent to the World Bank. Sh. Satpal Maharaj also said that Uttarakhand has been implementing various externally funded Watershed Projects in the highly inaccessible mountainous Himalayan regions of the state for nearly 4 decades.He said that these projects have played a very important role in the conservation of water and land in this Himalayan state. Along with this, their livelihood has also been enhanced by cooperation in various activities conducted for marginal farmers living below poverty line in the state. Gramya-2, a World Bank funded project in the state of Uttarakhand, was started in the year 2014 and is slated to be completed in September 2021.

Ahead of that, there was a detailed discussion between Sh. Satpal Maharaj and Anurag Thakur on the proposal for a new project worth Rs. 1000 crores (US $ 128 million) for 2 years 11 months. It is to be known that out of 1000 crores, the World Bank gives 70 percent of the total amount of 90 million US Dollars i.e. 684 crores rupees and 25 percent amount is of the State Government while 5 percent amount is in the form of beneficiary share.

During the meeting with the Union Minister, Shri Maharaj told him that the remote villages of the state, which had become desolate, have started settling again after the arrival of the migrants. Therefore, it is our endeavor that the migrants returning to Uttarakhand get livelihood opportunities in the village itself through waterlogging projects.

Anurag Thakur assured Sh. Satpal Maharaj that he would make serious efforts to send the proposal to the World Bank for funding shortly as well as recommending the expansion of the said project.