Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Govt to launch enterprise development programme

The New Indian Express, May 28, 2007

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to launch enterprise development programme in 200 villages in the catchment area of Upper Kolab Hydro Electric Project to create alternative employment opportunities and end dependence on forest.

The enterprise development activities planned by the Government include value addition to non-timber forest product, medicinal plants, agriculture and horticulture products, leaf plate making, hill broom making, mushroom cultivation, spawn production, fruit preservation and opening of handicraft centre for bamboo articles.

Interventions planned under the project are focused to conserve natural resources and improve economic conditions of people in the project villages. Bio-diversity conservation followed by sustainable non-destructive harvest would increase availability of raw materials needed by the people for livelihood support.

The project was constructed during the eighties across the Kolab river at Koranga village in Koraput district. The installed capacity of the project is to generate 320 MW of power and provide irrigation for 44,454 hectares.

The river originates in the Sinkaran hills of the Eastern Ghats in Koraput district. It flows through Jeypore tehsil and forms Orissa-Chhattisgarh border. The reservoir is now under serious threat of siltation which has reduced its storage capacity and life span.

According to sources, villagers will be encouraged planting on backyard/farm land by making available quality planting materials through nurseries. Besides the line departments, the self-help groups, the VSS, watershed committees and other village-level institutions will be involved in the implementation of the project.

As per the detailed project report, Rs 109 crore will be spent over a period of seven years. A project director stationed at Koraput will head the Mission to coordinate the activities of the different line departments. Besides, the project-level steering committee will be headed by the Administrator, KBK, and the Chief Secretary will be the head of the State-level monitoring committee.

The funds will be routed through the catchment area management society.

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