World Bank has approved grant of Rs. 185 crore loan (US$ 37Million) and extended the Himachal Pradesh Mid Himalayan Watershed Development Project (MHWP) by three years. Chief Minister revealed it after receiving the communication regarding the same from Ranjan Samantaray, Co-Task Leader of World Bank regarding the decision taken at the World Bank Meeting held at Washington on September 27, 2012.

Chief Minister thanked the World Bank for extending the period of MHWP and for reposing their faith in the sincere efforts made by the State Government in implementation of Project. He said that the Project had been of immense help in re-charging the traditional water sources in barren areas and help in increasing the green cover. He said that the local people immensely got benefited through this Project in reclaiming their shallow land and generated employment and self employment for themselves at their door steps. He said that with the extension of the project and additional funding, more gram panchayats would be brought under its ambit. He said that 704 gram panchayats in 43 developmental blocks in ten districts of the State would be now covered under the Project. He said that the focus of the additional financing proposal would be on water harvesting so as to increase potential area under irrigation and for diversification of agriculture and horticulture, besides soil and water conservation.

Prof. Dhumal said that the additional funding would scale up the project’s impact and maximize development by enhancing the natural resource base in the catchment areas through expansion to 102 contiguous gram panchayats with the project’s micro catchment areas for consolidation of watershed treatment activities within the ongoing project intervention areas. He said that the overall goal of the project had been to reverse the process of degradation of the natural resource base and improve the productive potential of natural resources and economy of rural households by adopting Community-Driven Development approach. He said that the Project was scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2013 which had now been extended by three years till March 31, 2016. He said that the extension period and additional finance would help in treating more areas and benefit habitants of 704 gram panchayats.

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