Spurred on by clearance of a special package for Bundelkhand region, the National Research Centre for Agro-Forestry (NRCAF) will soon recommend its watershed experiment in the 13 drought-prone districts of the region to tackle water scarcity there.

LUCKNOW: Year 2009 will go down as the year of Bundelas in Uttar Pradesh's history. A focal point of bitter confrontation between the Congress and the ruling BSP, the parched terrain, straddling seven districts in UP and five in MP, has never had it so good. Recent months have seen a shower of packages, projects and promises coming its way with both the rivals trying to outdo each other.

Hitting out at Congress-led UPA Government the Bahujan Samaj Party said that the much-hyped Bundelkhand package was "insufficient" and was aimed at gaining political mileage rather than solving problems of that rugged region.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared a special package worth Rs 7,266 crore for the implementation of a drought mitigation strategy over a three-year period starting 2009-10 for the development of 13 districts in the Bundelkhand region.

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a Rs.7,277-crore Drought Mitigation Special Package for the integrated development of the drought-hit Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh from 2009 to 2010.

Days after the Congress failed to make any electoral headway in the Bundelkhand region, identified by AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi as a stepping stone for the grand old party

MUKESH RANJAN

Congress general magic appears to have done the trick, as the Centre has worked out a special package of Rs 7,000 crores for Bundelkhand region comprising districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Madhya Pradesh (MP). The Union Cabinet is likely to clear it in its meeting on Thursday.

After a year-long intense campaign by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi that catapulted the backward Bundelkhand region into the national political discourse, the Cabinet will finally discuss tomorrow a comprehensive Rs 7,000-crore package that envisages large-scale irrigation and river-linking programmes.

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh is working towards implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, for empowering the tribals and other traditional forest dwellers for their occupation and habitation rights on forests. This Act empowers and encourages forest dwellers to protect, conserve and manage forest bio-diversity.

Since the Uttar Pradesh government stayed away from the meeting held at Orchha in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday to discuss development of Bundelkhand through NREGS, the Centre has decided to hold a separate meeting for UP after the by-elections in November. The Congress, at the same time, accused UP of obstructing development in the region.

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