ACC to work on improving water security in District Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh
Chandigarh, (Aditi) : ACC Limited, one of India’s most sustainable cement makers, has agreed to implement the watershed project in villages surrounding its manufacturing plant at Gagal, District Bilapsur in the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, which is expected to benefit at least 8,000 people in four Gram Panchayats.
The project will be executed in coordination with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and the non-governmental organisation Manav Vikas Sansthan, with whom ACC signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on May 9 in the presence of representatives of the three bodies. Dr. Sudhanshu KK Mishra, General Manager (OIC) of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, chaired the event.
ACC and NABARD will be equal funding partners while Manav Vikas Sansthan will be the project’s implementing partner. A detailed project report was prepared through participatory rural appraisal with a strategic timeline of four years and supported by a total grant of Rs. 5.18 crore. The project will cover an area of 1,408.4 hectares with treatable area of 1,143.6 ha. Conservation & Management of water and soil are vital parts of the project. The Village Watershed Committee shall be formed for executing all the activities.
Mr. Sridhar Balakrishnan, MD & CEO of ACC Ltd., said, “ACC is geared up with another initiative on the sustainable forefront with this project driven by sustainable development goals. The project will deal with the conservation & management of water, soil, agroforestry etc. The project will also look into ways to enhance incomes of the local population. Complimenting the background of the target areas, improvement of infrastructure for storage, transport and marketing of agri-based products will also be taken care of. We are humbled to contribute our bit to developing rural areas of Himachal Pradesh.”
Improvement and restoration of soil quality thus raising productivity, crop diversification with focus on cash crops, medicinal plants and horticulture, reducing impact of natural hazards, improving the local population’s income and improvement of infrastructure for storage, transport and marketing of agri-based products are some other objectives which will aid in the sustainable management of natural resources.