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Odisha approves Rs 903 cr annual action plan for afforestation

·2 min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], January 18 (ANI): The state-level Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) on Sunday has approved the annual action plan of 2021-22 with a total outlay of around Rs 903.39 crore.

The major activities included block plantation, assisted natural regeneration, bald hill plantation, regeneration of the bamboo forest, maintenance of previous year plantation, fodder and fruit-bearing plantation, bamboo culture, wildlife management, infrastructure development, capacity building research and evaluation.

Reviewing the progress made so far, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra on Sunday directed to increase green coverage on bald hills through plantation and regeneration activities during the year 2021-22.

He also directed to create a digital database of all the forest assets and upload those on a public domain with regular updating.

The forest department was asked to put in place a robust system for ground-level monitoring and public disclosure.

Further, Mohapatra asked the forest and environment department to create a land bank for compensatory afforestation and protect the identified land from human intervention so as to allow natural regeneration on that land.

The department was also asked to prepare a three-year action plan for making the forest roads motorable at least for easy availability of health and emergency services at the remote villages.

Mohapatra also directed to do solar fencing along the forest borders involving the people of the adjoining area of the human habitation for preventing man-animal conflict.

Development Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena advised to do third party assessment of the pre and post green cover density against each plantation project.

"All plantation projects should have monitorable objectives in terms of increase in green density and soil and moisture conservation," he said.

The India State Forest Report of 2019 has projected Odisha as a "Lead State" in different parameters of afforestation and forest management through the application of technology.

The State's initiative for DGPS survey of the entire forest land of 60,991 kilometres with latest techniques has proved to be very useful in monitoring of forest area, wildlife and maintenance of different assets. The method has been accepted as a best practice at the national level.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sandeep Tripathy said, "As per ISFR- 2019, the forest area in Odisha has increased by 274 square kilometers within the year 2017 to 2019. Besides, the tree cover area has also increased by 655 square kilometers. Odisha has been projected as a lead State in different parameters of forest management and has been placed at 6th position at the national level".

CEO CAMPA Uma Nanduri said, "As of now total area of 56,958.73 hectares of the forest area has been diverted for different public and developmental purposes in Odisha. Against this, afforestation has been done in 67,828 hectares."

The meeting set the target for plantation over 3,603.03 hectares during the period of APO 2021-22. (ANI)