Himachal Pradesh: India and ADB sign USD 10 million PRF to help expand horticulture production and farm household income in the state:
India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a USD 10 million project readiness financing (PRF) to help finance piloting activities and design and capacity building for an ensuing project that aims to expand horticulture production and farm household income in Himachal Pradesh. After signing the loan agreement, Dr Mohapatra stated that the PRF project will support advance actions to achieve a high level of project readiness through detailed design activities. The ensuing project, to be designed by the PRF, will support development of subtropical horticulture, including cultivation of fruits and vegetables, in the state’s southern region which is currently lagging due to limited access to perennial water sources.
Assam: India and ADB sign USD 231 million loan to augment electricity generation capacity in state:
India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a USD 231 million loan to augment electricity generation capacity in the State of Assam through construction of a 120 MegaWatts hydroelectric power plant that will enhance availability of electricity for households. This is the third tranche loan for the ongoing Assam Power Sector Investment Programme that was approved by the ADB Board in July 2014. According to an official release, the programme, including its two previous tranches, focuses on enhancing capacity and efficiency of the energy generation and distribution systems in Assam to improve electricity service to end users. The proposed hydroelectric project is run-of-the-river project over Kopili river which will help increase electricity supplied from clean energy by 469 GigaWatt Hour by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
Jammu & kashmir: Union Territory Administration signs historic MoU with NAFED:
In Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory Administration today signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED), an apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce. After signing of the MoU, NAFED to cover 5,500 Hectares at a cost of Rs 1,700 crore in the next five years with major focus on Apple, Walnut, Cherry, Pear and other significant horticulture products. NAFED will also set up 20 Farmer-Producer Organizations, one in each district, in the next three months. The NAFED will set up three cold storage clusters, one each in North Kashmir, South Kashmir and Kathua at a cost of Rs 500 crore, besides ensuring Geographical Indications tags (GI Tags) for all premium/niche horticulture produce, branding and marketing of fruit crops like Apple, Walnut, Cherry, Olive, Litchi etc.
Manipur: Wildfire wreaks havoc in hill range of famous tourist destination Dzuko Valley:
A wildfire has been wreaking havoc in the hill range of a famous tourist destination – Dzuko Valley of Senapati district of Manipur for the past three days. The Dzuko Valley is situated at the border area of Nagaland and Manipur and it is a tourist destination with its distinct flora and fauna. It is suspected that the fire probably started from 29 of December from Nagaland site and crossed Manipur site endangering the wildlife of Mt. Iso of Manipur. Considering the alarming situation, the Manipur Chief Minister along with high level officials made an aerial survey yesterday. Later, the Chief Minister informed the media that Fire tenders and the Forest Department have been deployed to extinguish the fire. They are assisted by local volunteers. He also said that the State Government had also requested the National Disaster Response Force to provide assistance and had also requested Army and the Assam Rifles for assistance.