Manipur CM N Biren Singh at the inauguration of the multi-crore water resource conservation project in Imphal

Imphal: In a bid to check the depleting water levels of the state, Manipur CM N Biren Singh inaugurated a multi-crore water resource conservation project in Imphal on Tuesday. The project is aimed at regeneration of the degraded forests, rehabilitation of streams and improvement in the livelihood of households of ‘upper watershed forest’ dependents.

The Indo-German Financial Co-operation Project, designed on community-based sustainable forest management, is an 11-year-long project with an estimated cost of Rs 254 crore. For the first phase of the project, stretching up to seven years, a cost of Rs 137.47 crore has been estimated.

The launch of the project in the hill state came after the Union finance ministry signed the deal with the KfW Group of Hamburg, Germany in 2017. A separate agreement was also signed by the state forest department and KfW for implementation of the project.

Explaining the objective of the project at the official inauguration the CM said that successful implementation of the project with the help of community members would ensure protection of existing forest areas and help regenerate 21,800 hectares of degraded forests in the state. The project was launched to rehabilitate around 300 km of streams.

The project is also aimed at improvement livelihood of 90% of households of upper watershed forest dependents.

“When the project is implemented it would promote livelihood activities, improve wildlife habitat and also generate employment opportunities to the local people. We need the support of the people for the successful implementation of the project,” said Singh.

Emphasising on the community’s participation Singh highlighted that in the past 18 months, the government has initiated efforts to increase the protected area network by 92 sq km by declaring eight new community reserves in Tamenglong and Senapati districts.

For the project implementation, as per the current funding norm to the Northeastern states, 90% of the loan will be repaid with interest by the Centre and 10% by the state after 20 years with an interest of less than 1%.

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