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What is Green Bonus Demand and reason for demanding Green Bonus by the Himalayan States?


Recently, Himalayan states for the first time in the history came together on a single platform (i.e. Conclave of the Himalayan States) to take an unanimous stand on the surface of the long-standing problem of integration of the mountain regions with the mainstream India.

WHAT IS GREEN BONUS DEMAND?

The Green Bonus Demand is the demand of Himalayan States to the Government to frame policies on the basis of the social, political and economic specificity of the Mountain regions and not based on the riverine plains. These hilly states also want additional budgetary provisions for their ecological services — green cover belt, fresh air and water of rivers — to the country.

HIMALAYAN REGIONS OF INDIA

The Himalayan regions of India contains following states:

  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Jammu & Kashmir (Converted into two different UTs now)
  • Manipur, Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • Sikkim,
  • Tripura
  • Uttarakhand
  • Two districts of Bengal

CHARACTERISTICS OF HIMALAYAN REGIONS OF INDIA

  • There are 9000 glaciers of freshwater which covers around 12000 km.
  • These regions cover 1/3rd of total forest cover of India.
  • These regions are considered as India’s one of the major carbon sink. Besides it averts soil erosion from the world’s youngest mountain range.

REASON FOR DEMANDING GREEN BONUS BY THE HIMALAYAN STATES

  • Himalayan States paid a development price for the maintenance of forests, rivers and other environmental goods which helped the rest of the country.
  • Various studies put forth to shows that how Himalayan regions are structurally different from the Indian mainstream in terms of their social and economic structure.
  • These regions have been facing problems when it comes to the integration of the hilly regions with other part of the country.
  • These Himalayan states contribute to the environmental conservation especially through their green cover.
  • These Himalayan states are water pillar for the country so there is a strong need to conserve and revive them. All the big rivers from Indus to Brahmaputra originate from this region and provide potable water to the country.
  • These Himalayan states seeking help for the development of hydropower resources, subsidies for their environmental protection measures and recognition of their efforts to meet human development parameters.
  • Large swathes of the land fell into Eco sensitive zones where all sorts of development activities could not be carried out.
  • To develop new tourist spots as existing ones have been exhausted.
  • To push the agenda of growth and development.
  • Since these states are prone to disasters, funds are needed for mitigating/dealing with disasters.
  • Uttarakhand has suffered losses after losses post introduction of the GST.
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