Bhubaneswar: Odisha has been projected as a “Lead State” in different parameters of afforestation and forest management through application of technology in the India State Forest Report of 2019.
The state’s initiative for DGPS survey of the entire forest land of 60,991 km with latest techniques has proved to be useful in monitoring the forest area, wildlife and maintenance of different assets. The method has been accepted as a best practice at national level.
This was revealed at the state-level Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra.
Reviewing the progress of afforestation, Mohapatra directed to increase green coverage on bald hills through plantation and regeneration activities in 2021-22. He also directed to create digital data base of all the forest assets and upload those on public domain with regular updating. The department was asked to put in place a robust system for ground level monitoring and public disclosure.
He asked the Forest and Environment department to create a land bank for compensatory afforestation, prepare a three-year action plan for making the forest roads motorable and do solar fencing along the forest boarders to prevent man-animal conflict.
Development Commissioner Pradeep Kumar 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 between 2017 and 2019. Besides, tree cover area has increased by 655 sq km. Odisha has been projected as a lead State and placed at 6th position at national level in forest management.”
The Annual Action Plan of 2021-22 with an outlay of Rs 903.39 crore was approved at the meeting. It was targeted to take up plantation in 40,494 hectare (ha) and bamboo culture in 75000 ha. The soil and moisture conservation works would be taken up in 7000 ha.
Similarly, the old road side plantation in 1,54,865 ha would be maintained and intensive plantation taken up in 551 ha of bald hill. Assisted natural regeneration activities would be undertaken in 2790 ha. Around 70 culverts and 100 causeways would be built in the forest area and 150 tube wells dug in remote villages inside the forest.
CEO CAMPA Uma Nanduri said, “As of now, 56,958.73 ha of forest area have been diverted for public and developmental purposes. Against this, afforestation has been done in 67,828 ha.”