Sudhir Sharma

The Himachal Pradesh would utilize the global experience of Korea and World Bank for the solutions in areas like solid waste management, public transport, urban management, road constructions and maintenances etc.

Urban Development, Housing and Town and Country Planning Minister Sudhir Sharma, while presiding over the experience sharing workshop on green growth initiatives in Himachal Pradesh organised by the State government in collaboration with Korea Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF) and the World Bank, said the State Government would work on the analogy of Korean model for developing Shimla, Dharamshala city as a smart city and streamlining the traffic problems of the Shimla city which had also been included under AMRUT Mission by the government of India.

The Korean specialists in various areas were invited by the State Government for exchange of ideas and seeking their support in these areas. The visit was a part of the World Bank’s long term support for the State Government in its move towards green and inclusive development.

The Minister said the Himachal government had a long partnership with the World Bank and the Development Policy Loan of the World Bank to promote inclusive green growth and sustainable development had helped the State in implementing critical structural and administrative reforms necessary to achieve rapid inclusive economic growth and development. He said Himachal Pradesh had surpassed various other States of the country in many sectors because of good co-ordination and commitment of the administrative machinery and the State leadership. Today, the State had emerged as one of the States with the best human development outcomes, which had also been documented in the World Bank report.

Sudhir Sharma said the towns and urban areas were going to be instrumental in economical and social progress of the State and government was according top priority to check haphazard and unplanned growth of these areas and to provide best infrastructural and public services like housing, sanitation, disposal of solid wastes, transport, water, health and education etc.

He said that in its initiative towards green growth, the state government had imposed complete ban on green felling, use of polythene, plastic bags, cups and plates besides smoking in public places. He added that Himachal was the first State in the country to initiate green forest accounting.

Chief Secretary VC Pharka said that exchange of knowledge through this workshop would help in the State in finding effective solutions in various issues the State was grappling with. He said the involvement of the World Bank team would further strengthen the relationship of the State with the Bank.

Pharka said this workshop would also help the concerned departments to learn about green technologies and make appropriate adjustments in the development policies.

The Chief Secretary said the State was also looking forward in the areas of use of green construction technology in road sector, use of ICT applications to achieve green growth and the concept of green smart city development with the participation of citizens. He expressed hope that the experience of Korea and World Bank team would help the State to come up with appropriate solutions.

Programme Manager of the KGGTF Eun Joo Yi said the fund was a single Donor World Bank Group programme and 88 million dollar programme was established in 2011 in partnership with the Korea. It finances the uptake of operational green growth technical know-how to influence investment project design of the clients of the World Bank. She thanked the State Government for inviting a team of Korean experts and the World Bank for sharing experiences on green growth initiatives.

Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Dr. Shrikant Baldi said Himachal Pradesh had done remarkable job in green growth initiative and by the end of year 2020, the State was going to achieve the target of carbon neutrality. He said detailed deliberations with the Korean experts and the World Bank team during last three days had been very successful and State was looking for taking benefit of Korean expertise in various sectors.

The detailed presentations were given by Urban Development, Public Works Department and Environment, Science and Technology Department on the achievements of the State Government in these sectors. The presentations were also given by the Korean experts in the field of solid waste management, public transport, urban management, road constructions and maintenance.

Additional Chief Secretaries Tarun Shridhar, Manisha Nanda and Shri Narendra Chauhan, Principal Secretary, Forest and Environment Tarun Kapoor and other senior officers of the State Government were present on the occasion.