Annual Afforestation Plan worth Rs 903 Cr approved by Odisha

Odisha’s state-level Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has approved the annual action plan of 2021-22 with a total outlay of around Rs 903.39 crore on Sunday. This year, the major activities include block plantation, assisted natural regeneration, bald hill plantation, regeneration of the bamboo forest, maintenance of previous year plantation, fodder and fruit-bearing plantation, bamboo culture, wildlife management, infrastructure development, and capacity building research and evaluation.

After reviewing the progress so far, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra has asked to increase the green coverage on bald hills through plantation and regeneration activities during the year 2021-22. A digital database for the forest assets will also be made available to the public with periodic updation of the same. The forest department was also asked to put in place a robust system for ground-level monitoring and public disclosure.

The department has been directed to prepare a three-year action plan for making the forest roads motorable to ensure easy availability of health and emergency services at remote villages. Additionally, a plan to construct solar fencing along the forest borders to prevent man-animal conflict was directed by the Chief Secretary.

“All plantation projects should have monitorable objectives in terms of increase in green density and soil and moisture conservation”, said Development Commissioner, Pradeep Kumar Jena.

The India State Forest Report of 2019 had hailed Odisha as a ‘Lead State’ in different parameters of afforestation and forest management through the application of technology. The state’s initiative for DGPS survey of the entire forest land of 60,991 kilometres with the latest techniques has proved to be very useful in monitoring of forest area, wildlife, and maintenance of different assets. The method has been accepted as a best practice at the national level.

“As of now total area of 56,958.73 hectares of the forest area has been diverted for different public and developmental purposes in Odisha. Against this, afforestation has been done in 67,828 hectares,” said Uma Nanduri, CEO CAMPA.

At the meeting, a target plantation of over 3,603.03 hectares was set for 2021-22.

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