Niti Aayog meet: Hill states seek separate ministry
The Himalayan states on Sunday came together at a conclave to demand a separate Union ministry to deal with problems endemic to them and a green bonus in recognition of their contribution to environment conservation.
The demands formed part of a common agenda of the Himalayan states and a proposal was handed over to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, chief guest at the first conclave of the Himalayan states in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat told reporters in Mussoorie. “The Himalayan states should be given the bonus because of the environmental services. They are the pillars of water supply in the country as they are home to more than 900 glaciers. These states should also be given grants for the conservation and rejuvenation of the rivers,” said Rawat, adding.
“Discussions are already going on it at the Niti Aayog,” said Rajiv Kumar, vice chairman of NITI Aayog, who was present at the meet along with secretary of water and cleanliness, Parmeshwaran Iyer. At the meet, Sitharaman said, “Himalayan states are a vital part of the country and all of them are in the priority of the central government. Villages at the international border areas in these states act as eyes and ears for the border security. Developments are needed in these areas to provide jobs to youth so as to stop the migration.”
Except Assam, representatives of 10 Hill states — Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Uttarakhand — attended the event.