Maharashtra has reported the highest growth in mangrove cover, of 82 square kilometres, in the last two years in the country, said a forest official.
"The state's mangrove cover increased from 222 sq km to 304 sq km, registering an increase of 37% over the previous assessment in 2015. It has been mentioned in the State of Forest Report 2017 published by the Forest Survey of India today," said N Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forest and head of the State Mangrove Cell today.
"According to the report, the mangrove cover in the country increased by 181 sq km during this period. Of this, 45 per cent was contributed by Maharashtra. This is the highest recorded in the country. Andhra Pradesh comes a distant second with an increase of 37 sq km," he said.
Raigad district had recorded the maximum increase of 29 sq km of mangrove cover followed by Thane and Palghar which together registered an increase of 31 sq km, whereas the increase in Mumbai Suburban district was 16 sq km, Vasudevan said.
Maharashtra is the only state in the country with a dedicated Mangrove Cell, which came into existence in 2012, and it is also the only state to have constituted all mangroves on government land as reserved forests under section 4 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, officials said.
Commenting on increased awareness and protection of the mangrove cover, Vasudevan said, "Maharashtra has also created a Mangrove Foundation. The increase in mangrove cover is attributed to stricter enforcement of law, increased awareness among the public about the importance of mangroves and the wider knowledge about the legal protection available to mangroves.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)