Small hydro power projects totalling 6,000 Mw in Ganga river basin in Uttarakhand have been affected by Chaturvedi panel proposals

Uttarakhand today announced its first resettlement and rehabilitation policy for hydel projects. It claimed the policy was the best in the country.

At a meeting of the Cabinet here, presided by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, the government decided it would provide Rs 2 lakh a hectare for the development of the fallow compensatory land, which is given in lieu of the land acquired.

Despite the Centre's recent clarification the eco-sensitive zone along Bhagirathi river in Uttarkashi district will not affect development, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna today asked it to review the decision.

The Centre had recently issued a gazette notification declaring a 100-km stretch between Gomukh and Uttarkashi along the Bhagirathi river as an eco-sensitive zone. But the measure triggered widespread protests in the region over the development issue. The chief minister had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling for review of the measure, with a plea that it would affect hydel projects with a capacity of 1,743 Mw.

The Chharba village panchayat had passed a resolution declaring it won't allow the set-up of the Coke bottling plant

Amid heightened environmental concerns over the proposed Coke plant at Chharba, near here, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Wednesday said the bottling facility would be equipped with all the safeguards. "We understand that there are some environmental concerns regarding the proposed Coca-Cola plant. But I want to make clear the proposed plant will be equipped with all environmental safeguards," said Bahuguna.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and opposed the new 4,179.59 sq km eco-sensitive zone in the Bhagirathi Valley, which put tough restrictions on tourism and hydel projects in the hill state.

Bahuguna, leading a delegation comprising the party's state MPs and Congress general secretary Birendra Singh at Parliament house, told Singh there should be a review of the eco-sensitive zone where the area has been increased from 40 sq km to 4179.59 sq km, without taking the consent of the state. Bahuguna also met the minister for state for environment and forest, Jayanthi Natarajan, separately on the issue and urged the centre to set up a high-powered committee to review the eco sensitive zone.

The village panchayat of Chharba, where the cola major plans to set up its Rs 600-cr bottling plant, passes resolution on not to allow the proposed project to come up

Chharba-Langha Road, 30 km from Dehradun city, is a green industrial belt. This patch on the western fringes of the Doon Valley is also known for its lush green khair and sheesham trees. In many ways, the area is an example of sustainable development, where over 50 Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) exist in harmony with nature.

Move likely to help mop up Rs 400-crore revenue

The Uttarakhand Cabinet has put its seal of approval on a new mining policy, which would help the government garner revenue of Rs 400 crore, make tendering process more transparent and reduce the role of government agencies. At present, the government earns about Rs 100-150 crore. Through another amendment, the district magistrates have been given the authority to give mining rights on upto five acres of land to local youths.

Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) on Wednesday agreed to provide a loan assistance of Rs 655 crore for developing and enhancing non-timber forest products (NTFP) in Uttarakhand.

This was decided at a meeting at the secretariat here where a 5-member delegation from JICA met state chief secretary Alok Kumar Jain. "Jica has agreed to work on the non-timber forest products in the Himalayan region," said an official statement said.

The 125-km project is considered to be strategically important, owing to Uttarakhand’s vast border with China

More than a year after the foundation stone for the much-ambitious Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project in Uttarakhand was laid, the railways are yet to start its geological survey amid reports that investigations may continue for another two-three years. “We are at present carrying out alignment works and the geological survey will begin only after March this year”, say a top railway officials.

When Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain travels to the remote Nogaon area of Uttarakhand this week, he will flag off a refrigerated apple van, a vital link of the cold chain that has been developed for the first time in the hill state.

Jain will also study an inclusive business model of small and marginal farmers in the apple value addition business chain. Initiated by Stichting Het Groene Woutd (SHGW), a Dutch family foundation and social investor, and NGO Sri Jagdamba Samiti (SJS), this model has helped create employment, income, technical skill and capacity among the apple growers of Uttarakhand.