The investment under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has yielded its dividend for Odisha with net increase of forest area ay 274 Square Kilometers (SQ.KM) during last two years.
This has been reported as per India State of Forest Report (ISFR), a biennial publication of Forest survey of India.
This was revealed in the State level Steering Committee Authority of CAMPA held under Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy in Lokseba Bhawan here on 11 February, wherein Additional Chief Secretary, Forest & Environment, Mona Sharma outlined the issues for discussion.
Development Commissioner, Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary Revenue & Disaster Management, Pradipta Kumar Mahapatra, Principal Secretary Finance, Ashok Kumar Meena, along with other senior officers of the department participated in the deliberations.
Presenting the updates, Chief Executive Officer CAMPA, Uma Nanduri said, as per ISFR- 2019, the forest area in Odisha has increased by 274 sq kms within the year 2017 to 2019.
Apart from that the tree cover area has also increased by 655 sq kms. Odisha has been projected as a lead State in different parameters of forest management and has been placed at 6th position at national level.
This has been possible because of the success of different initiatives and projects taken under CAMPA, said PCCF, Sandeep Tripathy, present in the meeting.
Reviewing the progress of the projects under CAMPA Chief Secretary Mr.Tripathy directed to intensify field level monitoring of the afforestation projects done under CAMPA.
Mr.Tripathy also directed to focus on effective implementation of wild life management plan and growth of bio-diversity.
Chief Secretary said, “Preservation of bio-diversity is as important as increasing of forest coverage for ecological balance”. Further, Mr.Tripathy directed the Forest & Environment department to enhance mangrove forest coverage in Bhitarkanika area of Kendrapara district.
The Committee approved Annual Action Plan of 2020-21 with a total outlay of around Rs.803.65 crore.
The major activities included block plantation, assisted natural regeneration, bald hill plantation, maintenance of previous year plantation, fodder & fruit bearing plantation, bamboo culture, wild life management etc.
Target was set to take up plantation in 1500 hectors @ 1600 plants per hector during the year 2020-21.
An ambitious target was set to grow 5,71,48,000 seedlings during this APO 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 VSS for fire protection works.
Ms.Nanduri said as of now total area of 55534.40 hectare of forest area have been diverted for different purposes in Odisha. Against this, 72606.57 hectare have been stipulated for compensatory afforestation. Till September, 2019 afforstation has been done in 64135.27 hect. APO 2020-21 has planned for plantation in 4355.35 hectors. The balance area of 4000 hectors will be planted in APO 21-22.
PCCF, Mr.Tripathy said, “DGPS survey of the entire forest land of 60,991 square kms has been taken up applying RS & GIS techniques. This has proved to be very useful in monitoring of forest area, wild life and maintenance of different assets. The method has been accepted as a best practice and National level and Government of India has advised other States to emulate the Model".