Himachal to develop ponds in villages

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Shimla, Aug 4 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Saturday stressed the need to develop ponds in villages which would help in maintaining moisture in the forests besides preventing forest fires.

THe Chief Minister has asked the Forest Department to prepare a water conservation action plan with the construction of ponds through Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management (CAMPA) funds.

In a review meeting of the department, the Chief Minister was apprised about major projects on forest management, biodiversity preservation and livelihood improvement.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Forestry Project with an outlay of Rs 800 crore would be implemented in the next 10 years in six districts, officials said.

The Chief Minister favoured awareness campaigns on forest fires by involving women and self-help groups.

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Himachal Pradesh is a storehouse of biodiversity and is most vulnerable to climate change as the Himalayan glaciers have been retreating due to global warming.

–IANS

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