JBIC to provide Rs 306 crore-aid for conserving Tripura's forest

Agartala, Nov 19 : Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) will be providing rupees 306 crores aid for conserving Tripura's forestry sector in a bid to overcome challenges posed by global warming, climate change and poverty alleviation.

Tripura is the first north-eastern state to receive financial assistance from the JBIC.

The project envisages to restore degraded forests and improve the livelihood aspects of villagers, including tribal families engaged in traditional shifting cultivation.

The financial assistance of Rs 306 crores under the Japan government's Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programme would cover 70 percent of the total land in the State, said Keiji Kamiyama, Counsellor of Economic Section in Japanese Embassy.

Kamiyama added that the JBIC is also providing a small financial assistance to the sericulture sector of Manipur.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who launched the project on Monday, said that the State Government is adding another 60 crores to the JBIC project.

"The project would also help in recharging the ground water and as well as protect the rivers which are gradually losing their depth due to silt, said Dr V K Bahuguna, Chief Executive Officer and Project Director of Tripura JBIC Project.

The project would also help in bettering the quality of life of at least 60,000 families, especially in tribal-dominated areas as it would provide them employment and food.

The project is expected to be completed in 2015, and would cover an area of 7,023 sq km. The State shall have to repay the loan at very nominal interest in 40 years time.

As many as 456 joint forest management committees and 1,250 self-help groups would be involved in implementing the first ever externally aided project in the State.

Under the project, 16 non-timber forest produce centres would be set up across the State for creating livelihood options and skill up-gradation of the rural poor.

It is also estimated to produce incense sticks worth Rs 2 crores.

While, Germany would provide Rs 11.2 crores, China-based International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) has agreed to provide over Rs 2 crores to Tripura for all-round development of forest, ecological conservation, setting up of forest-based units and their exploitation in trade and economy, informed Tripura's Forest Minister Jitendra Choudhury. (ANI)