Bahra University

Senior Congress leader and Speaker, HP Assembly Brij Behari Lal Butail has emphasized on introducing stringent law to protect the state’s environment. While speaking at the Palampur Welfare and Environment Protection Forum, state government officers and elected representatives of panchayats and municipal council on the eve of the World Environment Day, Butail said that protecting the state’s environment is the top priority of the Himachal Government and new environment guidelines have already been issued for power projects and cement plants coming up in the state.

Congress senior leader said Himachal Pradesh had emerged as the first state in the country to march towards achieving carbon neutrality. After going through various models of some environment-conscious countries like Costa Rica, the state government had drawn up a master-plan with the support of the World Bank for making Himachal Pradesh a complete carbon-neutral state.

Butail said a bio-carbon project was under way in about 10,000 hectare of non-arable and degraded common forest land in the state. The focus of this project was only on a forestation for which farmers would receive cash incentives. The project aimed to develop cost-effective ways to minimise climate change risks by generating environment benefits through carbon regeneration, besides improving revenue generating capacity of small farmers.

Palampur legislature said the state had also formulated a policy on climate changes to prepare a roadmap for issues to be focussed soon. The issues included introducing technological interventions for the reduction of greenhouse emissions from industries, residences, automobiles, landfills and agricultural sector.

Under this project there was a plan for massive afforestation programmes, promoting use of renewable energy, encouraging the use of CFL bulbs, meeting energy requirements from hydel power, biomass rather than fossil fuels, recovery of energy from the waste and to prevent change in forest land use.