The second phase of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project was launched in Tripura on Wednesday under the banner ‘Project for Sustainable Catchment Forest Management.
The new project has been designed to reduce the soil erosion, leading to siltation of rivers and water bodies leading to regular flash-flood and reducing of the water table, mainly due to degradation of the forest through the plantation in the catchment areas.
Besides scientific intervention at the forest beat level for better result oriented implementation for sustainable development and side by side environment protection and creation of employment has been emphasised in the project.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in presence of Forest Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia; senior representative of JICA India, Taru Uemachi; PCCF Dr. Alind Rastogi and CEO and Project Director of Tripura JICA Project Anshuman Dey, launched the Rs 1000 crore project at the Hatipara Forest Complex.
Eighty per cent project cost is in the form of a soft loan from the Japan Government shall be implemented in a period of 10 years time.
Chief Minister Deb, while speaking on the occasion, said some 1447 check dams would be constructed under the project which shall not only help in flood control, fisheries and duckery activities through the creation of water bodies, which would also help in attracting tourist and recharging of groundwater so that agriculture farmers are also benefitted.
He informed that the project covering around 52,700 hectares of area in Tripura will have various types of plantations and the focus shall be bamboo.
Deb said the indigenous section of people shall be directly benefitted from the JICA project.
He also emphasized on the planting of fruit and Agar trees which are highly benefitted and also can create employment.
Senior representative of JICA India, Taru Uemachi said JICA phase one has not only helped in poverty alleviation but also helped in afforestation as over 53,000 hectares of sand in Tripura including agro-forestation was done under it.
He added that some 453 joint forest management (JFM) committees besides eco-development committees, 1545 self-help-groups (SHGs) were formed and supported under the project for livelihood creation through scientific processing of non-timber forest produces (NTFB), especially by using bamboo.
Both the CM and the Forest Minister along with other officials also visited various stalls where products of the beneficiary of the phase one of the JICA project were displayed.
Meanwhile, PCCF Dr. Rastogi viewed that the State has a bounty of natural resources but it needs to be sustainably used along with the creation of jobs using the potential of the area because for the State Forest Department it is ‘Prakrati Deba Bhava’ as here nature is worshipped and which compliments by giving benefits to the people.
He also stressed on convergence from various schemes and departments so that the people of the State, as well as nature, can get the benefit and through sustenance of jobs with systematised micro level planning.
The logo of the projects and two booklets were also launched on the occasion.
During the first phase of JICA project, which was launched in 2007 had a financial involvement of Rs 304.62 crore.
It was utilised in forest management, soil and moisture conservation besides livelihood creation especially of the section who are directly involved with forest.