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Odisha's forest cover has increased by 274 sq km

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

The forest cover in Odisha has increased by 274 square kilometre in the last two years, officials said.

Different initiatives and projects taken up under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (Campa) helped in increasing the forest cover of the state, they said.

Odisha has added another 274 square kilometre forest cover has been reported in the India State of Forest Report (ISFR), a biennial publication of Forest survey of India, said the Chief Executive Officer of Campa, Uma Nanduri.

While the states total forest cover area was 51,345 square km in 2017, it increased to 51,619 square km in 2019, the official said.

She said: "As per ISFR- 2019, the forest area in Odisha has increased by 274 sq km in 2017 to 2019." The issue was discussed at the state level steering committee authority meeting of CAMPA held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary AK Tripathy on Tuesday.

Apart from that, she said the tree cover area has also increased by 655 sq km in the state.

Odisha has been projected as a lead state in different parameters of forest management and has been placed at the sixth position at the national level.

This has been possible because of the success of different initiatives and projects taken under CAMPA, said Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Sandeep Tripathy.

Reviewing the progress of the projects under Campa the chief secretary directed officials to intensify field level monitoring of the afforestation projects.

He also directed them to focus on effective implementation of wild life management plan and growth of bio-diversity.

The committee also approved an outlay of around Rs 803.65 crore for 2020-2021, an official statement issued by the chief secretarys office said.

The major activities to be taken up under Campa funds include block plantation, assisted natural regeneration, bald hill plantation, maintenance of previous year plantation, fodder and fruit bearing plantation, bamboo culture, wildlife management and others.

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 (Vana Surakshya Samiti) for fire protection works.

Nanduri said as of now a total area of 55,534.40 hectare of forest area have been diverted for different purposes in Odisha. Against this, 72,606.57 hectare have been stipulated for compensatory afforestation.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 12 2020. 17:10 IST