Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 12:
With the Union government preparing draft guidelines for a new scheme ‘National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA)’ to conserve aquatic ecosystems (lakes and wetlands) through implementation of sustainable conservation plans, the Odisha government has decided to ask the Centre for more central assistance in the scheme.
“The proposed funding pattern of the scheme at Central share: state share 70:30 should be changed and it should be 80:20 as in case of JNNURM. An outlay of 525 crore for the 12th plan period is a meagre amount for bringing any significant improvement for the vast ecosystem in the state,” said a senior official of Housing and Urban Development department.
The new scheme has been planned following the merger of National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) and National Wetlands Conservation Programme (NWCP).
The merged scheme to be operational during XII Plan Period at an estimated cost of Rs.900 crore, which would have 70:30 cost sharing between Central Government and respective State Governments.
The state has also decided to ask the Centre to bear 100% expenditure for preparation of DPR as it is difficult to identify and allocate funds for the activities meant to conserve and restore lakes in the state. It will urge the Centre to consider inclusion of water bodies in ULBs in the proposed scheme.
The principal objectives of the new scheme is holistic conservation and restoration of lakes and wetlands for achieving the desired water quality enhancement besides improvement in biodiversity and ecosystem through an integrated and multidisciplinary approach with a common regulatory framework.
The scheme would contribute to reduction of pollution load and improvement in biodiversity as also the goods and services provided by these water bodies to the stakeholders.