On April 28, 2022, the Maharashtra Cabinet accepted and cleared the proposition of a gene bank that aims to conserve and protect the genetic resources within the state. The preservation also includes marine and animal diversity, along with the seeds of locally grown crops, all at an estimated cost of over Rs 172 crore.
A first-of-its-kind project in India, it will be executed by the forest department of the state. During the clearance of the proposal, the head of the cabinet, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took into consideration the outcomes of the project and said that if the recommendations put out by this two-volume report of the pilot project (of the same name) is implemented and carried out well, it would help conserve the state-wide biodiversity, thus ensuring their availability for generations to come.
The Cabinet also accepted a panel report by a minister that was associated with the nomadic tribes and other backward classes. This panel which was formed back in October 2020 to observe the benefits provided to these nomadic tribes comprised ministers Chhagan Bhujbal, Jitendra Ahwad, Vijay Wadettiwar, Sanjay Rathod, and Gulabrao Patil.
This project was piloted by the Maharashtra Government’s Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Commission. It will now be continued by the State Biodiversity Board, to ensure the sustenance and growth of the project.
"The Chief Minister understood and supported that biodiversity conservation cannot be a time-bound project. It is essential for survival, especially in these times of changing climatic conditions. Now, it will be a permanent institutionalised system cutting across 10-12 departments," said Praveen Srivastava, a member secretary of the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board (MSBB).