`PCI ready to support state in fighting climate change`

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IMPHAL, September 30: The Planning Commission of India is ready to support any demand of the state for increase in the budgetary provision if it is meant specifically for forest department, which will reflect in the plan size of the state, if the state government approach the centre, said BK Chaturvedhi, member, Planning Commission of India during his two day visit to the state.

Speaking to media persons during a press conference held at Hotel Classic this evening, he stated that the centre is taking special consideration of the NE states considering the huge presence of forest coverage.

He also added that since the area lies in one of the hot spot biodiversity of the world, the centre has decided to give full priority to the region and help in the preservation and conservation of the existing forest cover in the region from the ever increasing deforestation of forest areas, which is one of the main factor leading to climate change.

He further stated that the PCI is committed to the globally faced problem of climate change and special emphasis has been given to the issue at various levels.

“The two days national workshop on “Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity management in NE-India, with particular reference to Manipur is very important at this juncture of climatic change in the region due to the degrading ecology of the region”.

He also mentioned that the shared opinions and views from the participating experts during the workshop have been noted by the government and will be soon reflected upon by government agencies working on the issue.

“The views from the experts will further help the agencies of the government to form an action plan to be used for the successful implementation of conservation and preservation of natural heritages and biodiversities throughout the country especially the NE region”

In reply to queries from the attending mediapersons on the issue of Loktak Lake project, which has been initiated under the direct supervision of the PCI, he stated that even though the target for the completion of the first phase of the project will be extended to 2013 from 2012, he added most components of the phase including compensation for the clearance of the Atha phums and rehabilitation of the inhabitants are almost complete.

He also maintained that the technical process of preventing siltation along the Loktak lake basins by the rivers falling into the lake is under; however the completion of the process may take some more time.

He also added that for the effective implementation of the projects, the PCI and the state government has employed a third monitoring group for the evaluation and impact assessment.

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