This document is the result of participatory process involving administrators, technocrats, professionals and citizens, who have in the course of their work experience formulated distinct impressions on the State of Environment of Himachal Pradesh
The main purpose of this document is to develop approaches compatible with the mountain eco-systems and its unique aspects such as fragility, inaccessibility, marginality, diversity, climatic peculiarities, etc. The policy guidelines cover important areas such as Land, Water, Air, Miniral Resources, Health, Biodiversity, Agriculture, Horticulture, Energy and Tourism etc.
It is hoped that the implementation of Policy guidelines will lead to the strengthening of the existing departmental policies so that the developmental activities become not only comprehensive but sustainable. While the Policy discourages mindless exploiting of natural resources, it also encourages the process of conservation and preservation. It would be imperative to ensure the participation of all stakeholders for successful implementation of these guidelines. I am sure that all the concerned departments, institutions and individuals will take appropriate action to achieve environmental enhancement and sustainable development.
Deptt. of Science & Technology
1.1. Himachal Pradesh Government shall help to promote the development of an economically and environmentally sound eco-system while endeavoring to improve the living standards of the people in the State. The Govt. is conscious of the intrinsic value of the environment and of the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values thereof. Further, it realizes the importance of environment for evolution and for maintaining life sustaining systems.
1.2. The Govt. of H.P. expresses its resolve to conserve and enhance the environment and follow a policy of sustainable development. Being aware of its central role in forging and directing the development on a sustainable matrix, it calls upon people, Panchyati Raj and local bodies, institutions, and the organs of the State for extending their full co-operation in this effort.
2. THE AREAS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN
2.1 The term environment encompasses air, water, soil, flora and fauna, communities, their habitats and livelihoods etc. and is a complex mix of various inter relationships, which these facets of environment have amongst one another. Environment is generally considered in three broad classifications - Natural, Built and Sociocultural and it is essential to examine the effect of development activities on all the three components. The concern today is not only preserving these for the present generation but also ensuring 'its use by our future generations.
2.2. The following characteristics and special features of the State guide the identification of issues of environmental concern :
v. Hostile climate
vi. Scattered population and small agricultural holdings
2.3. In the light of the above, the following areas have been identified, which are of environmental significance and need attention on a priority basis:
i) Construction of highways, massive buildings and big dams.
ii) Extension of orchards into environmentally sensitive agricultural and forest lands.
iii) Destruction of forest cover.
iv) Deep Channel cutting for minerals and open cast mining for building materials.
v) Pollution and garbage.
3. DEVELOPMENT IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
3.1.The fragile environment of the Himalayas has seen developmental interventions, which are replication of the development patterns of the plains. Himachal Pradesh itself has undergone transformation from subsistence centered agriculture to commercial horticulture based development. The developmental path adopted in the last thirty years has been a mixed success. While one can legitimately talk with pride about a reasonably good road network, educational and health institutions, problems in the shape of depleting forests, increasing pressure on common property resources such as water, pastures etc., deterioration in water and air quality are a matter of concern. Overall, there is a threat to the quality of life and this can hollow the base for an economically sound and environmentally safe future. The sensitivity of the State's geographical, geological and cultural nature cannot be overemphasized today.
3.2. It is in the State's interest to rethink its approach and strategy to development and the measures of economic progress. The questions that would appear relevant are:
i) What is wrong?
ii) Where has it gone wrong?
iii) Are policies and programmes in consonance with the natural systems of the State.?
iv) Have policies been implemented' in their correct perspective?
v) Have people's perceptions been built into the development process?
vi) What direction should' our policies take and what do we hope to achieve by them?
4. NEED FOR POLICY
4.1. India was one of the first countries, where the Constitution recognised the need for harmonizing environmental concerns with development. Article 48A specifically directs, 'The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife in the country” and Article 51A(g) enjoins upon Indian citizens a Fundamental Duty “ to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes and rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for the living creatures.”
4.2. The National Conservation Strategy and the Policy Statement on Environment and Development are in response to the need for laying down the guidelines that will help to weave environmental considerations into the fabric of our national life and of our development process. It is an expression of our commitment for reorienting policies and action in unison with the environmental perspective.
4.3. At present, the State of Himachal Pradesh does not have any Environmental Policy of its own. The developmental vis-a-vis environmental model followed in the State is generally directed by central policies and laws which do not fully address the requirements and unique aspects of mountain areas.
5. THE APPROACH
5.1. While recognising the fact that the legal regime put in place by the Union and. State Govt. is sound, the approach adopted in this policy document is to identify issues and to prepare guidelines, which could lead to formulation of an Environment Policy for the State of Himachal Pradesh. The specific effort has been:
i) To identify issues which need immediate attention of planners and policy makers for both spatial and sectoral development.
ii) To redefine indicative and operational roles for the Government in ameliorative problem solving.
iii) To define policy frames and the implementation mechanism for cohesive and coherent implementation.
iv) To identify the role of people in general & women in particular in environment conservation, protection and rehabilitation.
6.1. The objective is to develop sustainable development approaches in Himalayas, which take into account the special features of mountains. Sustainable development means "meeting the needs of present generation without compromising the needs of future generations". From this definition, the following principles of sustainable development emanate:
i) The Govt. and public perspective must shift towards ecological consideration in development.
ii) Mindless exploitation of natural resources, which are not renewable, must be stopped.
iii) State needs to conserve resources and use technologies, which generate minimum waste.
7.1 The purpose of Environment Policy Guidelines for Himachal Pradesh is two fold:
i) Taking stock as it were of the development process pursued - its gains and its pitfalls.
ii) Identification of remedies and interventions as may be required at Institutional, Regulatory and ultimately policy and implementation levels.
7.2 The Policy Guidelines comprise parts covering subjects of land use, Geology, Forest, Agriculture, Horticulture, Water Resources, Industries, Energy,. Tourism, Health, Biodiversity and Pollution in relation to the environment and action required in each area. The present status of each sector including its environmental concerns has been indicated.
7.3 Himachal being a small, hilly State needs not only to develop its resources of land, water etc., but also make development humane, ecologically friendly and sustainable. Presently most departments have their own policies Industrial, Mining, Forest, Tourism, Power etc. All these policies have certain safeguards/regulations inbuilt in them to cover ecological issues. Through this document, the endeavour is that the guidelines are considered and adopted by the Govt. departments to make their policies and activities more ecologically sound and better regulated, so that the existing lacunae could be plugged and the present developmental process improved upon to sustain itself and ecology. Such a development strategy would ensure a better ecological assessment of projects/schemes, better coordination and as a end result, a better and safer life for the people of the State.
7.4 It is important to recall at this stage that the environmental disturbances are quite often caused due to pressures of social or economic expediency. Man does not possess original blue prints of Nature, therefore, it would be necessary to realise that any action, in order to be ecologically sound, must have foundations on cool and detailed evaluation of competing options and parameters. In a situation of complexities arising out of technological, social and economic variables, it would be necessary to always have a structured approach while dealing with environment related issues and evaluations. For this, step by-step approach as indicated below should be followed, in the sequence in which it is mentioned:
i) Technological parameters.
ii) Social, including political, parameters
iii) Cost and economic parameters.
iv) Over-all reasonability parameters.
8. SECTORAL GUIDELINES:
8.1. The sectoral guidelines, as described here-in-after have emerged from State's Environmental Status Report. The choice of sectors has been influenced by concerns which are important not only for making developmental activities durable and sustainable but also by a core concern to minimise damage in such area of Govt. and human activities as are of core concern for the preservation of biosphere. While the rationale for prescribing these sectoral guidelines is sufficiently explained in Para-I of the policy guidelines, it is necessary to clarify here that the sectoral guidelines should be adopted and followed by all so as to make the process of sectoral planning more sensitive to the needs of environmental sustenance of enhancement.
8.2.1. All government departments should start addressing the action points immediately through their plans.
8.3. As a necessary run-up to serve the objectives and sectoral guidelines given in this policy, it will be essential to suitably augment skills of state's human resource. Government departments should reappraise the current nature of their operations to see how they offer offence to environment. The departments should also appreciate as to how their existing work processes be modified to make them environmentally sensitive. Such an exercise ought to be followed by an appropriate revision of technical prescriptions and procedures. Alongside, the training needs necessary to have new orientation should also be suitably prescribed. Keeping their mandated tasks and objectives of this policy in view, some departments may feel the need to set up environment cells consisting of suitably trained personnel.
8.A. LAND USE:
8.A.1. Land is the prime resource of the State. The availability of land in per capita term is comfortable. Yet, current pattern of land use is marked by fragmented and isolated departmental approaches. There is a need to have an integrated approach for land use optimisation in the State for sustaining and improving food production, horticulture development, animal husbandry and forestry. To achieve this objective, adoption of micro-water shed principle is extremely important.
8.A.2. Disturbances to the land surface, as necessary for executing private and public developmental works, have necessarily to be followed by appropriate restoration. This calls for a sustained inter-sectoral coordination among various agencies.
8.A.3. ISSUES OF CONCERN:
a. 21,648 Sq. Km. i.e. 38.9% of the area remains unsurveyed.
b. Prevalence of feeling among the village communities that maintenance, preservation and regeneration of forests which are in their village common lands is only the State Government duty.
c. Lack of policy of proper management of the wastelands and common property resources.
d. Lack of proper policy for extraction of forest produce which lead to the problem of soil erosion.
e. Encroachments on the forest land.
f. Shifting the management of the common lands from the society to the state has culminated into diminishing the involvement of the people at large in the management of such resources.
g. Lack of methodology for recording and ascertaining the actual production of fruit crops and hence lack of proper production estimates.
h. The land use data thrown up by the annual season and crop reports also lacks sufficient credibility in view of the fact that neither have the changes in land use been recorded properly nor have the changes relating to irrigation status and shifts in cropping pattern been brought on record. Apart from the infirmities of land use details, this shortcoming also constraints the estimation of state domesting product.
i. A variety of settlement operations are going on which need to be brought under unified system of doing the work on record of rights.
8.A.4. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Survey of the remaining unsurveyed area i.e. 39% should be done and brought on revenue record.
2. Change in the traditional mode of livelihood of grazers by helping them to adopt new agro-economic activities such as off season vegetables, horticultural crops, floriculture etc.
3. Provision of a suitable legislation so that village communities which are found ignorant of their obligations towards upkeep and protection of forests would be deprived of their rights on forests.
4. Coordination and strict monitoring of the demarcation programme for proper management of the wastelands.
5. To control soil erosion, through adequate engineering and vegetative measures.
6. Encroachments on the forest land must be expeditiously dealt with the removed.
7. Strict implementation of provision of H.P. Land Preservation Act, 1978 and the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
8. Need to identify the extent of under utilisation of irrigation base to ensure the optimum utilisation and to augment the irrigation base substantially.
9. Rejuvenation of land use Board so that proper land use plans are made and implementation of guidelines by various depts. is ensured.
10. Village societies should be motivated to actively participate in the preservation and regeneration of common lands.
11. Specific schemes should be formulated so that area under cultivable wasteland can be reclaimed.
12. Need to formulate methodology for recording and ascertaining the actual production of fruit crops.
8.B GEOLOGY AND MINING:
8.B.1. Fragility of rock structure, forest cover, surface slopes, drainage systems and inadequacy of soil cover are key factors to be borne in mind while mitigating environmental repercussions in mining and quarrying operations.
8.B.2 ISSUES OF CONCERN:
a. Land damage, landslides, flow of waste material and soil erosion.
b. Deforestation and visual pollution.
c. Damage to flora and fauna.
d. Water pollution and disturbance of the water regime.
e. Air pollution.
f. Noise pollution & vibrations.
g. Human displacement and social problems.
h. Extraction of land, stone and grit from nalla and river beds have different environmental impacts. Haphazard extraction leads to erosion of banks and flooding.
i. Though the mining leases are understood to have given approval, yet the experience shows that rehabilitation plans are not implemented. Towards ensuring this, it is necessary to set apart a corpus out of the total project cost of mining for the rehabilitation effort and take this money as an advance before granting the mining lease. This deposit could be considered as a security which could be forfeited in the event of the mining leasee not implementing the rehabilitation programme to the satisfaction of the regulator.
8.C.1. Forests are a basic ecological and natural resource. They constitute the essential life support system besides being a source of timber, fuel, fodder and medicines etc. They ought to be recognised as water reservoirs, natural source of soil nutrition, soil creators and soil binders. There is a natural need, therefore, to create public stakes and to involve communities in the development, conservation and scientific exploitation of forests and all lands classified as forests. In Himachal unlimited scope exists for intensification and diversification of forest cover.
8.C.2. The total area of Himachal Pradesh is 55,673 sq. km. out of this, 66.43% of the area of the state is legally defined as forest land. Actually, out of this 36,84% of the area is pasture/alpine land or above tree line where no conventional timber forest can generally be grown. Therefore, we have only 29.5% of the area where there can be conventional forests. Out of this, only 22.49% is under tree cover. As per National Forest Policy, the forest cover in hilly areas should be 66%, whereas the actual forest cover is only 22.49%. Therefore, a massive afforestation programme is needed to achieve 29.5% which is the maximum possible in Himachal pradesh, ecologically within the legal forest area.
8.C.4. ISSUES OF CONCERN:
a. Forest cover and forest depletion areas assessment.
b. Choice of the afforestation species.
c. Regulation of minor forest produce and TD rights.
d. Collective management of natural resources.
e. Grassland and pasture management practices.
f. Review of protected area network (Sanctuaries and National Parks)
g. There is an urgent need for taking a realistic view on what area can be effectively forested. The policy prescription under the National forest Policy of 66% or of State policy at 50% seem to be unrealistic.
8.C.5. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Under the National Forest Policy norms, there is an immediate need to bring the remaining portion of the optimum forest are under tree cover.
2. Critical evaluation and appraisal of existing programmes of afforestation and deriving meaningful path finders from such evaluation.
3. Development of plantation models that meet the needs of the people and the edaphic exactness of species.
4. Identification of policies that lead to the degradation of forest resources and the conversion of forest ecosystem to other less valuable uses.
5. Training of forest officials at all levels for achieving developmental and participatory management orientation for mutating of the existing regulatory mind set.
6. Patronage of Panchayats, NGOs, Mahila Mandals and Voluntary Agencies in afforstation programmes. The allocation of plantation targets to these agencies will expedite the greening process.
7. 36.84% of the forest area is situated above tree line and cannot be put under tree cover. Yet this area is the repository of very valuable resources. Inventory and assessment of the resources of the Alpine Zone needs to be taken on highest priority to initiate strategies for enhancing land use of this vast area based on the kind of vegetation that could be grown in this zone.
8. Assessment of forest fire damage and inventory of the appropriate technology/methodology for prevention and control.
9. Popularization and expansion of the programme on the use of non conventional energy sources, improved chullahs, use of Solar Energy Systems, biogas, use of LPG and Kerosene oil as a special drive in villages falling in five km. belt around the forest.
10. Assessment of the impact of over grazing of cattle and identification of solution.
11.Timely regeneration efforts for certain plant varieties like the chilgoza pine which is of immense social forestry importance.
12. To compensate TD rights with raising some or more number of trees and make it mandatory that every TD right holder plants new trees.
13. Encourage people participation and formulation of appropriate extension strategies for high rate survival success of afforestation programmes.
14 .Checking the erosion of genetic diversity by laying more emphasis on the biosphere reserves, establishing demonstration plots and resource inventory of medicinal plants.
15. Making cultivation and proliferation of medicinal and aromatic plant species a prominent choice under Participatory Forest Management efforts in the State.
16. Check on the indiscriminate lopping and removal of herbaceous flora.
17. Preparation of comprehensive and timely Forest working plants with the involvement of people.
18. Improvement in the technology of road construction, mining and other developmental technologies in the forest areas.
19. Proper coordination between the Animal husbandry and Forest deptt. for the conservation of pasture lands.
8.D. WILD LIFE CONSERVATION:
8.D.1. Wild life conservation is a function of natural habitat protection. Wild life conservation will receive boost once our ecological management improves and communities are sensitized towards the protection of natural habitats. Communities can and should pay active and useful rile against poaching.
8.D.2. The existing network of Protected Areas (PA) has 32 wildlife sanctuaries (5664 sq. kms.) and 2 National Parks (1440 sq.kms.) covering a total geographical area of 7031 sq. kms. The management of a protected area is done through Management plan prepared by a planning officer. New Management plans need to be prepared in view of the new approach to PA management and biodiversity conservation.
1. Fragmented sanctuaries require a clear policy.
2. Encasement of wildlife personnel and their trading with emphasis on species inventory and management.
3. Research and documentation. Expansion of the data base of protected areas. Preparation of species inventories and vegetation maps for the PA Network in Himachal Pradesh.
4. Total protected area in Himachal Pradesh be raised to at least 20% of its geographical area after a review exercise.
5. Status of "Sacred Groves" to be maintained and strengthened.
6. Participation of the local people and other stake holders in PA management planning, mainly eco development and benefit sharing.
7. Integration of PA concerns into eco development and establish mechanisms to integrate PA concerns into regional development plans.
8. Need to formulate a clear cut policy on crop damage by the wild animals.
9. Linking wildlife research to the wildlife conservation.
8.E.1. In H.P. out of 55.7 lac hectare area, only 6.21 lac hactare is under cultivation i.e. only 11% is under cultivation. Out of this, 3.35 lac hectares can be irrigated but only 50% of this area is being irrigated and rest is rain fed. Presently, the total food grain production is 14 lac tonnes which is not sufficient.
8.E.2. The strategy of Agriculture production has to be oriented towards productivity enhancement and production diversification through eco-friendly methods.
8.E.3. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Emphasis on formulation of a strategy to discourage the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers by popularizing and demonstrating the use of bio fertilizers and biopesticides.
2. Documentation of traditional agriculture practices and cropping pattern which were based on low input system.
3. Initiate steps to increase the areas under irrigation by adopting rainwater harvesting practices and by developing other irrigation facilities.
4. Identification and documentation of traditional food crops and creating awareness regarding their food value.
5. Check on expansion of urbanisation and industries on prime agricultural land.
6. Increase in production per unit area.
7. Promotion of agroforestry with local people's participation.
8. Promotion of cultivation on the basis of watershed management.
9. Promote dry land farming.
10. Himachal Pradesh has a lot of potential for commercial crops like potato (Production 32,000 tonnes) and off season vegetables. Therefore, this should be further promoted and making linkages should de developed.
8.F.1. H.P. has done commendable work in the field of horticulture. Presently, the production of various fruits is 4.6 lac tonnes. Out of this, major share is apple which is nearly 3.3 lac tonnes. Another area of concern is that the production of apple in 57,450 hectares in 3.3. lac tonnes which is 5.6. tonnes per ha. It is only 1/4 of the world average.
8.F.2 Horticultural production has to endeavour towards intensification of production and diversification of production through eco-friendly methods. Horticulture operations are pre-eminetly suited to Himachal's topography and needs new initiatives to fill existing gaps in the variatal coverage. Horticulture should pay specific attention to bring medicinal and aromatic plants under the fold of their field activities on private lands.
8.F.3. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Horticulture has to be made more profitable and economically sustainable by diversification of production in traditional horticultural developed areas of the State and intensification of horticulture in remaining areas of the State.
2. Documentation, evaluation and identification of nutritional and medicinal values in Horticultural produce and the fruit processing technologies to be propagated in small scale units markets. Training programmes through extension services by various departments, universities and NGOs.
3. Identification and formulation of viable packaging strategies.
4. Evolving a strategy for improving per hectare production of commercial fruit crops, like apple and citrus fruits which at present is less than the world average.
5. To educate growers about other varieties of fruit viz, Kiwi, Strawberries, grapes etc.
6. To improve and popularise grass, floriculture and other traditional herbal plants.
7. To identify and promote the use of environment friendly pesticides and fertilizers.
8. Check on the expansion of horticulture at the cost of forest resources.
9. Encouraging horticulture in available cultivatable waste hands.
10. Need for undertaking meteorological studies in horticulture.
11. Introduction of plant biotechnology for the improvement of horticulture.
12. Developing suitable varieties of plant which can be grown in could desert areas.
13. Much more research in necessary to evolve better quality, hybrid and environmental friendly varieties of stone fruits/kernel fruits and their processing.
8.G. WATER RESOURCES:
8.G.1. Hydrological sustainability is a big challenge. Conservation and judicious use of water resources is a complex task for the Govt. as the population increases and the demand for water to support modern life style increases. Taking urgent action to increase availability of potable water would be necessary. Simultaneously, there is a need for re-cycling water, to the extent possible, besides developing systems of economical and cyclic water use. There is a need to generate a citizens movement for this purpose.
8.G.2. Judicious management and conservation of the water resources is required in the State to augment the water based irrigation and hydel power generating capacity.
8.G.3. As far as irrigation activity is concerned, there is a massive gap in the potential created and area effectively irrigated. Also, the irrigation methodologies being propagated are water intensive leading to enormous wastage and there is a need for appropriate innovations for introducing water conserving technologies for irrigation. As regards water for drinking, the quality of water supply leaves much to be desired and there are several instances of dangerous contaminants being emptied into river system leading to degeneration of water quality and environment as well as damage to the fauna systems in the rivers.
8.G.4. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Implementation of the Rain Water Harvesting Guidelines in Urban and Rural areas of the State to enhance the conservation of water resources.
2. Efficient use of drinking water resources.
3. Preparation for guidelines for impact assessment of water resources development projects with specific reference to hill areas is to be taken up on the highest priority.
4. Preparation of inventory of traditional drinking water sources and assessment of their utilizable status needs to be taken up.
5. Rehabilitation strategy for the traditional sources needs to be worked out on a priority basis.
6. Generation of base line water quality data around industrial belts and identification of contamination level and their impact on riverine ecosystems.
7. Conjunctive utilization of surface and ground water resources for proper functioning of drinking water supply schemes.
8. Collection of Hydrological and Hydro geological data for the exploration of surface and ground water resources.
9. Development of ground water resources in the various water supply schemes, identified as pilot projects in the drought hit areas.
10. More priority for drinking water in comparison to its use of commercial or agricultural purposes. Augmentation of source where there is scarcity of water to supply at least 120 LPCD in urban towns.
11. The distribution network should be simultaneously relaid, augmented, extended and remodelled wherever necessary.
12. Proper monitoring of surface and ground water quality.
13. Participation of local people in various irrigation management schemes.
14. Regular chlorination of drinking water supply is mandatory. Water supply should be regularly monitored for any contamination.
15. All towns located on the banks of river or rivulets should have sewage treatment plants and should not be allowed to discharge the urban waste without treatment into or on the banks of rivers.
16. Various hotels and tourists resorts coming up on the banks of rivers must have proper sewage treatment plants.
17. No industrial units should bee allowed to discharge untreated effluents into rivers/khads/nallahs.
8.H. CONSERVATION OF WETLANDS:
8.H.1 Himachal pradesh encompasses a wide variety of natural and man made water systems. These lakes or wetlands are spread in the various ecological zones, from the sub-tropical to trans-Himalayan regions, ranging from 400 to 5000 m. in altitude. Due to their location, these wetlands support unique biological diversity.
8.H.2. Wetlands occupy 1% of the total geographical area in he State. The total number of wetlands (>2 ha.) in the State of Himachal Pradesh are 92, out of which 7 are man made and remaining 85 are natural.
8.H.3. The area of 85 natural wetlands is 1555.75 ha. and the areas of 7 man made wetlands is 53210.25 ha. The total area under wetland is 54766 ha. during the post monsoon season and 30366 ha. during the pre monsoon period. In addition, there are 176 wetlands smaller than 2.25 ha. also.
8.H.4. Out of these, 3 lakes have been identified as Wetlands of National Importance by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India, viz. Renuka, Chandertal & Pong Dam lake. The conservation problems being faced by most of these lakes are related to increased siltation in their catchments areas and eutrophication leading to weed growth, because of excessive nutrient influx into the lakes.
8.H.5. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Regular study of physiochemical parameters.
2. Need to undertake bathymetric mapping of wetlands.
3. Reduction of sediment influx.
4. Increase in optimum biological productivity for fishing, so that local fisherman secure greater benefits.
5. Inventory of the biodiversity of the lakes and other freshwater bodies.
6. Development of strategy for the protection and conservation of these lakes their catchments.
7. Development of these water bodies as tourist spots with adequate ecological protection.
8. Need to set up a Coordinating body for all wetlands/lakes.
9. Catchments area treatment, weed removal and wetland monitoring studies need to be taken up.
8.I. GRAZING LANDS AND PASTURES:
8.I.1. In Himachal Pradesh 17.6% of the geographical area is under permanent pasture or grazing lands. The livestock population of the state is three times the carrying capacity of grazing lands. This is causing soil erosion and great damage to the natural plantation.
8.I.2. In H.P. the live stock is 53 lacs and the fodder required is 43 lac tonnes (green) and 40 lac tonnes (dry), but only 16 and 30 lac tonnes is available respectively (only 0.18 ha. is available to sustain one livestock unit whereas 0.5 ha. is required).
8.I.3. ISSUE OF CONCERN:
a. Low productivity of pasture.
b. Less area under cultivated fodder.
c. Lack of desirable composition of grasses and legume in grazing lands.
d. Lack of people participation in grazing land management.
8.I.4. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Live Stock Management through shift in practice of free grazing by livestock to stall feeding.
2. Grazing land management through deferred and rotational grazing.
3. Need to develop close coordination between the State Forest Development and Animal Husbandry Deptt. for management and development of pasture lands.
4. Introduction of desirable composition of grasses, legumes and fodder trees which are palatable and high in protein content.
5. Enhancement and restoration of soil fertility with the application for organic manure and biofertilizers.
6. Need to control weed and scrub growth invasive species.
7. Fodder development through People's Participation in grazing land and livestock management.
8.J.1. Out of total 45,000 plant species found in the country, as many as 3245 species (7.32%) are reported in the State of Himachal Pradesh. The faunal diversity of Himachal Pradesh has been largely influenced by its unique geographical position. So far about 77,450 species of animal area are known from India, of which Himachal Pradesh harbours 5,721; amounting to about 7.4% in Indian fauna This shows richness of faunal resources of the State considering its small geographical area which is only about 1.7% of the country. Invertebrates constitute 88.4% [5,055 species] and vertebrates 11.6% [666 species] of the Himachal Fauna. Insects and other Arthropods from predominant group [464 species] among Invertebrates, whereas vertebrates are dominated by birds comprising 447 species.
8.J.2. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Simple and participatory monitoring methods are required to be developed for field testing in diverse locations for the assessment of biodiversity, to begin with in the forestry and wildlife sectors.
2. Recognition to the innovative farmers, indigenous communities of biodiversity of their own survival.
3. Need to undertake ethno-botanical research in universities.
4. Management of medicinal and aromatic plants and to popularize their cultivation for economic growth.
5. Extension of research in medicinal and aromatic plants, pharmaceutical knowledge and other Ayurvedic programmes.
6. Prevention of genetic material of superior trees by clonal propagation in seed orchards in vitro gene banks.
7. Maintenance of in situ gene sanctuaries and arboreta in different agro climatic zones.
8. Provisions for researches in forest preservation plots.
9. Need to make management and protection of sacred groves mandatory.
10. Establishment of nodal agencies for cultivation, collection, extraction and utilization of the herbal resources.
11. Need to undertake population studies of majority of invertebrates e.g. earthworms, nematodes, protozoans, microscopic zooplanktons.
12. Creation of biosphere reserves to conserve the genetic stock of endangered species.
13. Public awareness about benefits and importance of biodiversity.
14. Setting up selective pilot projects for restoration of biodiversity.
15. Evaluation of current status of endangered species.
16. Delineation of protected areas based on biodiversity representativeness.
17. Immediate utilization of Biotechnology [Tissue Culture] for Biodiversity and plant species propagation especially by the Forest Department, in view of advantages in terms of time, cost and genetic purity.
8.K. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY:
8.K.1. The total livestock population of about 53 lacs in Himachal is contributed by 42.24% cattle, 13.76% buffaloes, 21.09% sheep, 21.90% goats, 0.74% equines, 0.14% pigs, 0.11% yaks and also 6.64 lac poultry. This constitutes 1.19% of the country's total livestock and 0.26% of the poultry population.
8.K.2. In view of the limited carrying capacity of the pastures and grazing land stock, it is necessary that upgradation programme should be made the highest priority in this sector.- More emphasis should be given on improving the breed of cows through a well organised system of providing artificial insemination facilities or by providing high quality bulls to the communities.
8.K.3. Since goats are voracious grazers, it is necessary that our policies should concentrate on replacing goats with improved breeds of sheep which will lead to lesser denudation of pastures etc. and also provide possibilities of higher income.
8.K.4. ISSUE OF CONCERN:
a. Overgrazing- the incidence is 0.19 hectares per livestock unit as against 0.5 hectares which is recommended.
b. Loss of grass cover leads to erosion and the pasture cannot rejuvenate.
8.K.5. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. To maintain the livestock number, steps are needed to reduce losses by mortality and morbidity.
2. Improvement in production through better utilization of available feed resources.
3. Reduction in the incidence of infectious diseases and parasitic problems.
4. Adoption of more intensive livestock production system.
8.L. WOMEN AND ENVIRONMENT:
8.L.1. WOMEN AS PROTECTORS AND MANAGERS OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES:
8.L.2. Women's work concerns three main areas all crucial to keeping the farming and at the larger level the rural economy alive. There are:
a. Survival tasks- growing food crops, providing water, gathering fuel and performing other work that sustain the family.
b. Household tasks-cooking- that have to be done every day. Rural women are ofter culturally required to be last in the family to eat more or less the left over the other family members.
c. Income generation- food processing, trading of agricultural products, production of handicrafts. Women also spend more of their income on family welfare in addition.
8.L.3. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Need to create alternate income generating avenues for women e.g. post harvest management, floriculture, mushroom production, apiculture etc.
2. Need to undertake evaluation of programmes for women to ensure that tokenism is avoided.
3. Need to focus attention on simplifying access to credit by farm women.
4. Strengthening of women's organisation/groups [mahila mandals] involved in environmental action.
5. Need to ensure strict implementation of provisions that favour women.
8.M.1. Morbidity and mortality profile of population shows that communicable disease constitute a predominant and formidable health problem in the state. The very factors responsible for most of the morbidity and mortality profile in H.P. emerge out the development on various fronts like urbanisation, agriculture, horticulture, industrialization etc. It is further compounded with the lack of awareness and sanitation facilities, low socioeconomic status, scant regard for local bye-laws etc.
8.M.2. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. All towns should be covered with planned sewerage system in a phased manner. Priority of course, has to be given to those towns having more tourist influx, increased population and prevalence of waterborne disease.
2. There should be proper information, education and communication (IEC) strategy to bring about a 'desired behavioural change' among service users regarding water handling and sanitation practices.
3. Vehicular pollution need to be controlled seriously and vigorously, particularly in the bus stands and near roundabouts.
4. Need to ban burning of coal (Bukharies) in Govt. office for warming in winters.
5. Need to follow strictly anti-smoking instructions.
6. Proper surveys need to be conducted to find out the magnitude of health problem in rural areas, due to handling of domestic animal and natural manure.
7. Depending upon the local problems and requirements regarding handling of chemicals specific IEC strategy needs to be planned and implemented.
8. Each industrial area should have a health institution to provide medical facilities to workers and their families as envisaged under the ESI Act, 1948.
9. The Factories Act 1948, provides elaborate measures for ensuring health, safety and welfare of workers. The State Govt. should ensure proper implementation of these measures through the appointment of Safety Officers in factories.
8.N.1. The judicious use and choice in sourcing energy is a core concern to the environmentalists. Himachal is fortunate in having a vast potential for Hydro electricity which when exploited will give this state a comfortable per capita energy availability and also leave surpluses for sale. Yet a lot can be done to exploit its non-conventional sources and technologies like solar passive housing etc. The burden on forest wealth of supplying fuel-wood can be reduced if available alternatives are effectively propagated among people.
8.N.2. Out of the total hydro-electric potential of 97000 MW in the country, nearly 32% lies in Northern Region. Out of this, as much as 21229 MW lies in Himachal Pradesh only; in its five river basins of Yamuna, Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, and Chenab where various hydel schemes of different installed capacities have been identified.
8.N.3. Out of above, 3974.74 MW already stands harnessed by various Central and State Govt. agencies. The state has also achieved 100% electrification and now the emphasis has shifted to "run of the river type" hydel projects in place of large storage dams.
8.N.4. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. To give boost to micro/mini hydel power schemes, Govt. already has a policy to give incentives for setting up of such schemes.
2. Renovation, modernization and upgradation of existing power houses to improve performance and efficiency is an ongoing process.
3. There is not much scope for harnessing wind and geothermal energy. Incentives are available for harnessing solar energy (both solar thermal and solar photovoltaic).
4. The T&D looses are of the order of about 18% in H.P. and are one of the lowest in the country. Further improvement in this requires investment.
5. Although there is a programme for replacing the traditional gharats by the improved ones, the improved gharats have not been used for power generation since the state attained 100% electrification about 10 years back.
6. Incorporation of necessary compensatory measures such as provision for separate drinking water, irrigation arrangements, plantation, soil conservation, environment and ecology conservation at the time of formulation of DPRs of Hydel schemes and execution of such components especially in the area of plantation and soil conservation in the Project mode by the Project Authorities needs to be ensured.
7. Environmental and forest clearance should be insisted upon at the time of techno-economic clearance of the scheme by the competent authority.
8. For popularization of non conventional sources of energy, the appropriate quantum of subsidy under different programmes needs to be looked into to ensure that the subsidy amount is commensurate with the gains in terms of conservation of forests, protection of environment/ecology etc.
9. Implementation of Solar Passive Building Technology in the State.
8.O. INDUSTRIAL DEPARTMENT:
8.O.1. With the infrastructural development, and implied industrial emphasis in the State plans, the number of registered industrial units has shown a sizable increase. The number of registered factories increased from the mere 3 in 1951 to 598 in 1981 and 1401 in 1993 H.P. Industrial Policy 1996, signals the State Government's commitment to rapid industrializaiton by creating an investor friendly climate by eliminating necessary delay and unwanted regulations. The State Government would focus on development of infrastructure and setting up of basic industries based on comparative advantages.
8.O.2. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Creation of dense vegetation buffer around cement plants and other industries so that pollutant practices are restricted to go beyond the certain limit.
2. Assessment of Impact of Industrial emissions and pollutants on human and cattle health and also on agriculture. Need to take appropriate steps to maintain pollution control standards to conserve climatological and pollution free industrial environment of the State.
3. Provision of incentives for ecofriendly industries. Inclusion of small scale industries of environmental clearance.
4. Standardise the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and set up procedures at the State Level for scrutinizing the projects.
5. Identify agencies which are capable of carrying out EIA studies in the State.
8.P. ARCHAEOLOGY AND CULTURE:
8.P.1. The vast growth of human and cattle population, over utilization of resources, establishment of various hydel projects, cement plants, construction of roads and augmentaion of development projects, setting up of new colonies and encroachment in geophysical situations has taken place without taking proper steps to safeguard the archaeological heritage of the State. Resultantly the available cultural harmony prevailing among the communities is exposed to undue stress. The need is to reasonably conserve the cultural heritage and also to protect the physical environment.
8.P.2. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Need for proper guidelines to safeguard cultural heritage.
2. The fossil wealth found in the areas of watershed of various rivers and rivulets requires to be handled carefully.
3. The ancient monuments, monasteries and shrines need to be protected under definite plans to avoid environmental degradation due to human interference and climatic vagaries.
4. Revitalization of eco-friendly, cost effective and local specific traditional hilly architectural styles for sustainability.
5. Need for blending traditional technologies and modern materials for better results.
6. Promotion of traditional system of medicines as a primary health care.
7. Involvement of local artisans and traditional knowledgeable persons for the designing and construction of various irrigation schemes.
8. To study the extreme richness of biodiversity as well as the spatial diversity of ecological zones.
9. To study and document the symbiotic linkages that has existed between community and nature. Need for adequate marketing systems and value addition of local products through promotion of cottage industries. Protection of indigenous knowledge to be ensured through intellectual property rights.
8.Q.1. Himachal Pradesh has been a traditional tourist destination. This fact has its root in the environmental features of the State. Tourism has also been a major developmental thrust area of the State. While sustenance and enhancement of the Environment is a major input for the growth of Tourism in the State, it would be advantageous to guide the tourism development efforts for greater community participation of and benefit sharing by the people in order to enhance sustainability.
8.Q.2. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Need to develop new circuits and destinations in the State off load the burden of tourist flow.
2. Promotion of paying guest houses in the farm houses, orchards, tea gardens and other scenic locations.
3. Ample forest cover, rich fauna and flora, established wild life sanctuaries and parks, camping areas and nature treks are already available. Thus it is more viable to promote eco-tourism in the State.
4. Promotion of adventure tourism e.g. skiing, water sports, hang gliding and para gliding and helisking.
5. Use of mass media for environment awareness among the tourists.
6. Appropriate architectural design of the tourist facilities should be laid in accordance with local culture and the nature environment.
8.R. SOLID WASTE AND GARBAGE MANAGEMENT:
8.R.1. There is a need for new systems, new technology and new work approach in this area. This is a challenge that local bodies and Panchayats must gear up to because in times to come per capita garbage generation is bound to increase and with increasing population garbage and Solid Waste Management can pose problems unless timely initiatives are taken.
8.R.2. With the increase in per capita generation of Solid waste and also a corresponding change in the type of garbage (from biodegradable to non-biodegradable and biomedical waste), Solid Waste Management is emerging as the focal area under environmental conversation and also for improving the quality of live in tribal, temperature and subtropical regions of the State.
8.R.3. H.P. NON-BIODEGRADABLE GARBAGE [CONTROL] ACT 1995 AND RULES 1996:
Himachal Pradesh is the first State in the Country to have enacted an Act for dealing with solid waste management and the menace of coloured recycled plastic carry bags.
8.R.4. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Waste Survey and Mapping of the towns. This involves participatory survey of garbage collection, transportation and disposal system with the formal and non-formal sectors to develop Waste Management Plan in each locality/ward.
2. Segregation of biodegradable, non-biodegradable and biomedical waste at source.
3. Provision of paper recycling and plastic bags reusing.
4. Composting of biodegradable components of the waste into organic manure through aerotic composting, microbial conversion and vermiculture through research and development and Technology assessment.
5. Suitable disposal of Hospital [biomedical and clinic waste] through incineration or other methods.
6. Information, Education and Communication campaign to create awareness among policy makers, planners, field staff, NGO's and general public.
7. Effective envorcement of HP and Central Acts H.P. Non-Biodegradable Garbage [Control] Act, 1995 and Bio medical Waste Rules, 1998.
8. Training of Urban Local Bodies staff in waste management, including collection, transportation and disposal.
8.S.1. Himachal Pradesh is basically a rural state 90% of the population resides in the villages. Secondly there are nearly 19,000 villages which reflect that population is scattered all over the state. The total population of Himachal Pradesh is 51 lacs, out of which 45 lacs reside in the rural area. With an average family size of 5 there are 9 lacs families in the rural areas.
8.S.2. Following are the main causes of river pollution:
a. Human waste: Absence of planned sewerage and garbage disposal system.
b. Animal Wastes: Generated by 45 lac livestock units.
c. Agriculture and horticulture based pesticide and fertilizer effluents flowing into water.
d. Industrial waste.
8.S.3. Because of the above pollutants the water in most of the rivers is not potable and has potential in spread various diseases.
8.S.4. Pollution prevention and control should be the mandatory concern of the Govt., social institutions and the people. To begin with Deptts. of the Govt. and its Institutions can be made responsible for environment conservation/enhancement and prevention and precautions related to pollution in their respective spheres of activity.
8.S.5. The State Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board has played role primarily as an environmental police. This ought to be and can be corrected in such a manner that this Board says a more wide, dynamic developmental and guiding role as it being done in some developed countries. This will be a very viable and effective mechanism whereby the clients being sensitive to the punitive and of the Board, will willingly respond to the workable suggestions given in the areas of choice of technology and environmental safety by this agency. For this, there is a need to enhance and suitably amend the structure and mandate of the Himachal Pradesh State Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board.
8.S.6. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. The present system for environmental clearance for projects under the Air and Water Act needs immediate review so as to accommodate concerns pertaining to maintenance and growth of floral and faunal diversity and the sociocultural systems. There assessments needs to be made multidisplinary and mandatory for even the smaller projects/ventures.
2. Accelerating the rural sanitation programme through voluntary organisation like Sulabh International to cover all 9.69 lac house holds in the State.
3. Creating awareness regarding the need and positive aspects of rural sanitation and health education as instances are available where latrines have been used because of individual preferences for open fields.
4. Evolving ways and mechanism for improving poor drainage in small towns and villages where indiscriminate defecation is practiced especially by children.
5. Putting in place proper sewerage system for major towns in the state as the problem is likely to become more acute with increasing growth in urban population.
6. All schools in the State need to be provided low sanitation facility like Sulabh sauchalaya.
7. The State Govt. should ensure efficient implementation of Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Environmental Protection Act, 1986 and "The Himachal Pradesh Non-biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 1995 through Urban Local Bodies.
8. Use of local material for urban housing.
9. Engineering staff trained to be sensitized to the environment.
10. Establishment of satellite townships around urban centres to lessen the pressure on large towns.
11. Monitoring the Air and Water quality in the state and its publicity for the benefit of citizens.
8.T. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND AWARENESS:
8.T.1. Environmental Awareness and Education is a key area in each sector. The education system is presently not able to fully utilize the capacity due to the lack of sensitivity to local surroundings and the lack of curiosity of the environment.
8.T.2. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Increase skills related to environmental management in all relevant training programmes.
2. Respond to training needs to minority, isolated and marginalised people to assist them to participate more fully in developing sustainable work practices and life styles needed for greater collaboration and interaction in environmental education and training.
3. Enhance the understanding of the relationship between good environmental management and good practices in business.
4. The quality of school life in terms of existing educational practices need to be improved by laying stress on the child centred, local specific and activity based teaching learning methodologies.
5. Utilisation of expertise in teacher training institutions and University system to plan and diverse environmental related activities/programmes for school education and also for providing necessary training for strengthening school community interactions.
6. Formulation of a suitable environmental education resources material including documentaries for sensitization of the different sectors.
7. Need of increasing the environment awareness in the elementary education system through the training of teachers and skill upgradation of the DIET centres.
8.U. NATURAL HAZARDS MANAGEMENT:
8.U.1. Himachal till date has experience the Great Kangra Earthquake (M>8) during 1905. Numerous other earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 to 7 earthquakes have occurred during this century. These have caused extensive loss of life and property. Another major hazard is the landslide and avalanche activity, often accompanied by flash floods. Some parts of the Higher Himalayas in District Chamba, Kangra, Shimla, Mandi and Kinnaur are subjected to cloud bursts which have caused extensive suffering to people in remote regions.
8.U.2. ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Establishment of infrastructure for disaster management.
2. Need to avoid construction of buildings/settlements on the river sides and shift the current settlements to safer places.
3. Need to undertake afforestation along the river banks and strengthening of embankments at a large scale to reduce the risk of soil erosion and subsequent landslides.
4. Identification of water induced disaster prone areas.
5. Monitoring of geomorphic and all other related processes for the clear understanding of these hazards, estimation of risks and mitigation of these disasters.
6. Formulation of proper management plan in the river catchments to reduce the occurrence of cloud burst and landslides.
7. Need for a close network of seismographs to record all the tremors and their regional implications for a correct understanding of the various processes.
8. To initiate, support and commission activities that would generate significant, high quality data and information for hazard assessment and risk evaluation.
9. To collate, commission and archive regulation codes for: i) Land use planning.ii) Buildings iii) Roads.
10. All development plans must have mandatory settlement on impact of hazards.