Dehradun, October 5

Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain, chairing a meeting of the State-Level Steering Committee of Himotthan Project today stressed on increasing income of villagers by including rural sanitation, drinking water, agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry in the project. He also laid emphasis on making arrangement of fodders for cattle.

It may be noted that the Uttarakhand Government and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust had signed an MoU in 2004 for 10 years for running the Himotthan project under which various rural development projects are being run on water, sanitation, agriculture, animal husbandry, development of forest and communities living there.
It was revealed at the meeting that these programmes were being undertaken through 34 clusters in 30 development blocks and rural population was made aware of water purification and its preservation.
So far, 2,773 households in 43 villages had been benefited. In all, 89 water sources and 1,442 sanitation units had been established. In the third phase of the project (2011-13), 2,500 households of 50 villages had been included. Under the agriculture programme, farming of herbal plants, aromatic plants and other cash crops are being encouraged and connected to marketing.
Under the organic certification, 15,000 farmers are working in 4,000 hectares and 28 produces are being sold through marketing link.
Under the animal husbandry programme, integrated fodder and livestock development projects are being run and a sum of Rs 1.30 crore has been disbursed to the farmers for milk vans. Fifteen trained para-veterinary doctors had reared 1,500 cows of good breed. This has also generated employment opportunities for local villagers. In all, 12 federations of women have been formed in the dairy sector and milk is being produced by various federations with turnover standing at Rs 2.15 crore.
Under the forest project, the villagers are being encouraged to plant bamboo. Under this project, 1300 people of 32 villages had been benefited. Five independent cooperatives have been formed and bamboo and ringal trees are being planted in the 2,746 ha area through these cooperatives.

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