Union Minister for Environment visits Mizoram

Aizawl, Jan 10: Union Minister of State for Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) Prakash Javadekar arrived here in Aizawl today for a visit of one-night stay. He was received at Thuampui Helipad by Mizoram State Environment & Forests Minister Lalrinmawia Ralte, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Lalram Thanga and other dignitaries.

Soon after his arrival, the MoEF & CC Minister Prakash Javadekar visited Advanced Research Centre for Bamboo & Rattan (ARCBR) and also inaugurated the new building of State Forest Training Institute (SFTI) at Bethlehem Vengthlang.

Speaking at the SFTI new building inauguration programme, Union Minister said that his theme is ‘development without destruction’, adding that it is the wish of the government to take vigorous steps for progress and development of India but not at the cost of the flora and fauna and the entire environment. The state and central government are both necessary to take up this challenge, he said.

Speaking on the crucial role of the people in the protection of environment, the Union Minister said that the mission cannot be successful without the participation of the people and accordingly the central government gives utmost importance to the people in all its initiatives.

Bamboo-rich Mizoram needs to find the way by which the same may be translated into monetary value and make it a means to cater the need of reliable source of income for many people in the State, the visiting Union Minister said.

Mizoram and other North East states are a treasure for India from the perspective of MoEF & CC, the Union Minister remarked. Also speaking on the occasion, State Environment & Forests Minister Lalrinmawia Ralte said that Mizoram holds strategic importance for being Indo-Myanmar Biodiversity hot spot.

Highlighting the little decrease in Mizoram forest cover last year due to development works, he called for new thinking in the action for protection of the environment.

Construction of the inaugurated SFTI new building began in 2011 and was planned to be opened within 5 years. The project was undertaken through State Project Management Unit and funded by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) with the approval of MoEF & CC.

The entire amount estimated for the project was Rs. 547.408 lakhs of which Rs. 479.347 lakhs has been released and Rs. 458.567 lakhs spent. The Union Minister during his visit held interaction with bamboo artisans and entrepreneurs besides private tree planters. He also the same evening held interaction with Mizoram Governor and Chief Minister. The Union Minister, accompanied by Addl. Director General of Forests, MoEF & CC, Anil Kumar, will leave Aizawl tomorrow for Tripura.
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