State wants to make villages sustainable, green | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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State wants to make villages sustainable, green

The state’s rural development department has drafted an ambitious scheme to get 13,900 villages with an estimated 3 crore population more environmentally conscious.

mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2010 01:08 IST
HT Correspondent

The state’s rural development department has drafted an ambitious scheme to get 13,900 villages with an estimated 3 crore population more environmentally conscious.

The scheme, called ‘Eco village’, will see the state government offering monetary incentives of Rs 1,326 crore over the next three years to villages that can achieve certain environmental goals.

For starters, the scheme wants villages to plant as many trees as the population of the village. As the scheme takes off this month, there is likely to be a race for tree plantation.

“One tree for every person. In the first year, we will see if the villages participating in this scheme can plant 50 per cent of the 3 crore trees, the second year 100 per cent and in the third, they should prove it to us that these trees have survived,” said Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil. He added that through the scheme, the department hopes that around 3 crore trees could get planted.

The participating villages similarly will have to undertake various goals — 100 per cent defecation free, shift to CFL street lights, ban on use of plastic bags, 100 per cent solid waste management — to get the funds available.

The goals will be adhered to in the next three years. For instance, the village will have to convert 50 per cent of its streetlights CFL or LED, in the second year at least 10 families should make use of biogas.

If the village fails to meet these goals, then they will have to forgo or get partial funds for that particular year. The funds are expected to finance the sustainable systems.

Every village as per its population can make a bid of up to Rs 8 lakh per year under this scheme. Pail added that the state government will also spend Rs 332 crore every year on this scheme and more if more villages participated.