Minutes of the 20th Governing Body meeting of Reconstituted Shivalik Development Board held on 23-04-15 at 10:00 A.M. in the Main Committee Room, 4th Floor, Haryana Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh under the Chairmanship of Shri Manohar Lal, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Haryana-cum-Chairman, Shivalik Development Board.
The list of participants is annexed.
2. The members of the newly constituted Board were introduced and the background of the purpose for the constitution of Shivalik Development Board(SDB) and Shivalik Development Agency(SDA) explained in detail. Noting that the last meeting of the Board was held in 2012, Hon’ble Chief Minister observed that the meetings should be convened regularly.
3. The agenda notes were taken up one by one.
Item No.1: Confirmation of minutes of the last meeting held on 30th August 2012.
Item No. 2: Action taken report on decisions of the last meeting.
Item No. 3: Receipt of funds from 1993-1994 to 2014-2015.
Item No 4, Review of progress for the works 2012-13,
5 & 6 2013-14 & 2014-15
Item No. 7 Approval of Annual Action Plan 2015-16 and any other
& 8 item with the permission of the Chair.
Chairperson SDA informed that Annual Action Plan 2015-16 has already been approved and Rs. 65.15 lacs have been released for Adi Badri Projects.
4. Hon’ble Chief Minister-cum-Chairman, Shivalik Development Board after having been apprised of the status of the works of the Agency delineated his views in detail about the very nature of this Board. He categorically stated that this Board has a distinct identity and purpose and it should neither be treated as nor function like a Government Department and that its functional autonomy should not be confined in stereotyped frameworks of procedures applicable in the departments. He stated that in fact we should break the shackles of conservative outlook while taking decision about the schemes and the area where these schemes are to be executed. He called upon the members to be openhearted and treat the entire area of these districts as Shivalik Area. The area which actually falls in the foothills of Shivalik should be given top priority in the formulation and implementation of schemes for them. The entire Shivalik area should be treated as a unit and lesser criterion of demographic composition and parochialism should be kept on back foot. A wide open and holistic view should be taken. The earmarking of funds for caste based components, compulsory linkage with MGNREGA or fixing percentage for districts does not seem fair and justified since very small initiatives covering streets, etc., costing a couple of lakh rupees are being taken up under its guise. He further said that if needed, Himachal Government will also be approached for implementation of the projects like construction of Check-Dam, irrigation dams, etc., in Shivalik foothills to tap the rain water. He emphatically stated that Shivallik area does not mean that only SDA wil work in this area. It is the primary responsibility of all departments to carry out the development works in this area and approach SDA for supplementary assistance only when they are not able to do some work out of their general budget.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister directed the departments of Forest, Tourism, irrigation, Public Health, Agriculture (Soil Conservation) to prepare schemes for this area in their respective departments independendly without causing any loss to the environment and put up separately through the Chief Secretary. Water conservation structures and initiative for irrigation and prevention of soil erosion also need to be worked out by active coordination by these departments. The Chief Secretary was requested to hold meeting with these departments and review their works.
5. The following suggestions were received from the members:
- There is a great scope for developing the Shivalik area for eco-tourism and adventure activities for promoting its economy with a view to developing employment opportunities and raising the income of the people. Besides the development of Tikkar Tal for adventure sports by the establishment of an Academy, possibility of taking up Sky Diving activities around Mandana needs to be studied. The Forest Department should organize tours and Jungle Safari for the public at large at specified points to develop the tourism.
- Development of infrastructure around established religious places like Adi Badri, Kapal Mochan, etc., also needs to be taken up for promotion of tourism.
- The possibility of working out an alignment for a road by PWD(B&R) starting from Pinjore-Panchkula region and reaching Kalesar with minimal environment damage also needs to be studied for opening up the area for development.
- The Departments of School Education, Higher Education and Health need to be geared up to provide adequate services to the people in this area; particularly the area in the foothills of the Shivalik ranges.
- The Rest Houses of the Forest Department, Irrigation Department, PWD(B&R),etc., should be opened up to the public at large for promotion of tourism and online bookings should be carried out.
- There is a need for greater involvement of local populace in the development activities in the area particularly in eco-tourism, etc. If required, training and skill development opportunities should be imparted to the general public.
- The possibility of establishment of large reservoirs/dams for water works, etc., need to be studied particularly at Dangrana and Chhanwla, as earlier indicated by the Irrigation Department in a survey.
- The flood protection works in this area should be monitored closely by the Deputy Commissioners so that they are completed before the onset of the Monsoon.
6. The following decisions were taken:
- On the recommendation of FCR it was approved that Coordination Committee will be headed by Divisional Commissioner Ambala and will be authorized to release funds either to be Government Department or Panchayat as deem fit for optimal use of funds and to change the approved schemes of Annual Action Plan of the districts keeping in view the local viability of the projects. The Annual Action Plan will continue to be approved by FCR.
- Directions were given to Deputy Commissioners to send revised Annual Action Plan 2015-16 within a month after taking proposals/suggestions from MLAs and Non-official Members of the SDB. Till then the Annual Action Plan shall be kept on hold.
- The Deputy Commissioners shall be the nodal officers.
7. The meeting ended with thanks to all present.