Uttarakhand first Indian state to get Japanese expertise for disaster management

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Anmol Jain

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand government would soon get technical assistance from Japan for planning and implementing erosion control works for slope disaster management in forest areas of the State. This would be a part of future preparedness strategy for mitigating the impacts of natural disasters in the future.

An agreement has recently been signed between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Uttarakhand for implementing a Technical Cooperation (TC) project titled “Project for Natural Disaster Management in Forest Areas in Uttarakhand.” This was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Harish Rawat, JICA India Chief Takema Sakamoto.

According to Anup Malik, Chief Project Director of JICA project in Uttarakhand, this is for the first time that Japanese technical know-how for dealing with sediment disaster management would be disseminated and used in India.

“The main objective of this project is to enhance the capacity of the State in general and forest department in particular, to appropriately plan and implement erosion control works for slope disaster management in forest areas of the State, as a part of future preparedness strategy, to mitigate the effects of natural disaster,” he informed.

He also told that JICA’s Japanese experts will be arriving in Uttarakhand soon for assisting the forest department for conducting field survey, plan, design and supervision for erosion control works. He also told that these experts would also conduct trainings to share knowledge not only with the state of Uttarakhand but also with other Himalayan states.

“This project has relevance for all mountain regions of the country as the technology used and standardized in Uttarakhand during the course of this Project would also be disseminated to other Himalayan States,” Malik told eNewsDesk.

It must be mentioned that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute towards promotion of international cooperation and works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries. JICA and provides assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities. Today, JICA is the world’s largest bilateral aid agency and India is its largest development partner.

Japanese are regarded as world leaders in erosion control and slope disaster management having developed highly sophisticated technologies. This project will be a unique opportunities to introduce such technologies in mountain regions of Uttarakhand and disseminate them across the Himalayan region of the country.

Presently, a JICA funded project is ongoing in Uttarakhand. Titled, “Uttarakhand Forest Resource Management Project (UFRMP),” this project has an outlay of Rs. 807 crores and is being implemented in 9 districts of the state. This project is being implemented through the Van Panchayats and it aims to contribute towards eco-restoration of degraded forests as well as expansion of livelihood opportunities for mountain communities.  The TC project would be implemented in coordination with UFRMP.