Business Standard

Centre gives over Rs 47,000 cr to 27 states for green activities


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The environment ministry on Thursday released over Rs 47,000 crores to 27 states for compensatory afforestation and other green activities, including prevention of forest fire, biodiversity management and soil conservation.
Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh got the maximum share of the fund.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar released the funds under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Act after meeting the forest ministers of the respective states here.
He appealed to the them to increase the green cover in their state as fast as possible.
Out of a total allocation of Rs 47,436 crores to the states, Odisha received Rs 5,933.98 crores while Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh got Rs 5,791.70 crores and Rs 5,196.69 crores respectively.
The minister said the corpus will be utilised for compensatory afforestation, wildlife management, forest fire prevention, work related to soil and moisture conservation in forests, voluntary relocation of villages from protected areas, management of biological resources and biodiversity, research in forestry and monitoring of CAMPA works among others.
"We have handed over Rs 47,436 crores to the states for compensatory afforestation.
"This fund is not to be used for salaries, travelling and other allowances to regulate contractual and casual employees of the state forest departments. I appeal to the state chief ministers that this fund be used to rapidly increase the green cover," Javadekar said.
The 27 states which have received the funds are Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Assam, Bihar, Sikkim, Manipur, Goa, West Bengal, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The minister said that the government has a mechanism to track whether these funds are being utilised properly.
"States should spend more in forest conservation as it is a future investment. We will keep a tab on these funds and we have the mechanism to track them.
"With new technology we will track the expenses. There will be proper monitoring and we will ask for a report from the sates as well," he said.
Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo and Union Environment Secretary C K Mishra were also present on the occasion.
The minister said that an ad-hoc CAMPA authority was established in 2006 on the directions of the Supreme Court for management of funds and in 2009 the apex court had permitted release of Rs 1,000 crore every year to states or union territories for compensatory afforestation and other activities.
In 2014, the apex court had permitted release of 10 per cent of total deposit of states in the fund from interest accrued due to which a large amount of funds remained unutilised and grew to around Rs 40,000 crore in 2016, the minister said.
In 2018, Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Rules were put in place and in January 2019, with the approval of the Supreme Court, an amount of Rs 54,685 crore from ad-hoc CAMPA has been brought under the control of the Centre, he said.

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First Published: Aug 29 2019 | 5:15 PM IST

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