Odisha Govt Approves Rs 903 Crore Annual Action Plan For Afforestation

Bhubaneswar: 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 digital database of all the forest assets and upload those on public domain with regular updating.The Department of Forest and Environment (DoFE) was asked to put in place a robust system for ground level monitoring and public disclosure. Further, Mohapatra asked the DoFE 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 DoFE 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 boarders involving the people of the adjoining human habitation for preventing the man-animal conflict. In another applaud to State, the India State Forest Report of 2019 has projected Odisha as a “Lead State” in different parameters of afforestation and forest management through application of technology. The State’s initiative for DGPS survey of the entire forest land of 60,991 km with latest techniques 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 at national level. This was known from the State Level Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) meeting held under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary recently wherein CEO CAMPA Uma Nanduri outlined the issues for discussion.Development Commissioner Pradeep Jena advised to do third party assessment of the pre and post green cover density against each plantation project.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sandeep Tripathy said, “As per ISFR- 2019, the forest area in Odisha has increased by 274 sq km from 2017 to 2019. Besides, tree cover area has also increased by 655 sq km. The committee approved Annual Action Plan of 2021-22 with a total outlay of around Rs 903.39 crore. The meeting set the target for plantation over 3,603.03 hectares during the period of APO 2021-22.