Underlying the need for exploitation of hydropower potential in Himalayan states, the Himachal Pradesh government on Wednesday called for more projects to improve the economy of these states.

RD Dhiman, principal secretary, Environment, Science and Technology said it was the need of hour to exploit hydro power potential in Himalayan states as the time has come to move from thermal power to clean energy.

He urged the Central government to provide incentives for hydro power projects and said such projects help in improving economy as well generate employment opportunities to the local populace.

Dhiman said the government through the HP Council for Science, Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE) in close partnership with the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) is organising the “Conclave of ‘Himalayan States’ on 5 October.

“The central theme of the conclave is agriculture driven ‘Well-Being of Next Generation of Himalayan People’ besides focusing on two key sectors, Hydropower and Sustainable Tourism,” he said.

This Conclave will go a long way in mainstreaming the challenges faced by mountainous community, thriving in the Indian Himalayan Region.

The delegates would strive to arrive at a mutually agreeable joint action plan with shared resources and efforts for a better tomorrow of participating hill states and most importantly our people, he added.

The Conclave would see the participation of Union Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, besides CMs and Dy CMs of 10 Himalayan states.

Several senior government officials including Principal Secretaries, Directors from Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Remote Sensing and Environment, form the Himalayan State and Vice Chancellors from HP varsities will also attend this programme.

It is worthwhile to mention here that almost nine years back, the HP government had organized a similar Conclave Himalayan Chief Ministers Conclave on ‘Indian Himalayas: Glaciers, Climate Change and Livelihoods’ in 2009.

The Conclave resulted in the ‘Shimla Declaration on Climate Change and Himalayan Development’ and a call for collective action on common challenges of Himalayan environment and its populace’s well-being. Himachal Pradesh is the only state to have organized such a pan-Himalayan states dialogue, twice.

This Conclave will be held in two-stages comprising of a summit of professional experts and delegates at Shoolini University, Solan, on 3-4 October to be followed by the conclave of all the Himalayan States at Shimla on 5 October.