Bhubaneswar: With a view to enhancing green cover in the state, the government, Tuesday, approved annual action plan worth Rs 803.65 crore under CAMPA for 2020-21 financial year.
The action plan was approved by the state-level Steering Committee on Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) during a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy at Lok Seva Bhawan here.
The major activities to be taken up under the action plan included block plantation, assisted natural regeneration, bald hill plantation, maintenance of previous year plantation, fodder & fruit bearing plantation, bamboo culture, wild life management among others.
The government set a target to take up plantation in 1,500 hectors @ 1,600 plants per hectar during 2020-21 and to grow 5,71,48,000 seedlings during the period for the purposes of plantation, special projects, distribution, root trainer seedlings etc.
The issue of forest fire protection figured in the meeting. An amount of Rs 41.13 crore was approved for maintenance of fire protection line, operation of 216 fire protection squads and support to Vana Surakhya Samiti (VSS) for fire protection works.
The chief executive officer (CEO) of CAMPA, Uma Nanduri, said, “As per India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019, the forest area in Odisha has increased by 274 sq km from 2017 to 2019. This apart, tree cover area has also increased by 655 sq km. Odisha has been projected as a lead state in different parameters of forest management and has been placed at 6th position at national level.”
Nanduri said “As of now, a total of 55534.40 hectares of forest area have been diverted to different purposes in Odisha out of which, 72,606.57 hectares have been stipulated for compensatory afforestation. Till September last year, afforstation has been done in 64,135.27 hectares. APO 2020-21 has planned for plantation in 4355.35 ha. The balance area of 4,000 ha will be planted in APO 21-22.”
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, (PCCF) Sandeep Tripathy said, “DGPS survey of the entire forest land of 60,991 sq km has been taken up by applying RS & GIS techniques. This has proved to be very useful in monitoring of forest areas, wildlife and maintenance of different assets. The method has been accepted as a best practice at national level and Government of India has advised other states to emulate the model.”
Reviewing the progress of the projects under CAMPA Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy directed the officials to intensify field-level monitoring of the afforestation projects under CAMPA.
Tripathy also stressed on effective implementation of wildlife management plan and growth of bio-diversity. The Chief Secretary said, “Preservation of bio-diversity is as important as increasing of forest coverage for ecological balance”. Further, he directed the Forest & Environment department to enhance mangrove forest cover in Bhitarkanika area of Kendrapara district.