Forest Minister Sri Arukha meets Union Minister,Forest Sri Dave at New Delhi 236 crores sanctioned to State Campa fund
Bhubaneswar,22.08.2016 ( By Biswaranjan Mishra)-Minister, Forest & Environment, Parliamentary Affairs Sri Bikram Keshari Arukha has met Union Minister, Environment, Forest and Climate
Change Sri Anil Madhav Dave today at New Delhi and discussed with him in detail about the issues pertaining to afforestation, protection of forest and wildlife. Odisha Government have Submitted the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Annual Plan Operation (APO) 2015-16 to be implemented during 2016-17 at a cost of Rs.516.93 crores to the Union Ministry during April 2016 for approval and funding. Till date, fund has not been released although time bound compensatory afforestation work has been started and protection squads have been engaged. Hon’ble Chief Minister Odisha has requested Hon’ble Union Minister for early release of fund. Minister Sri Arukha has requested Union Minister Sri Dave to release the funds under State Campa. Union Minister Sri Dave sanctioned 236 crores in the first phase today. Suitable, completely barren and encroachment free non-forest land is largely unavailable in Odisha for compensatory afforestation. Projects involving large extent of forest land for diversion face trouble. MoEF&CC was requested to accept non-forest/forest land with some vegetation for the purpose of compensatory afforestation, so that site specific ANR mode of plantation of required density would be taken up to enrich the vegetation of the area. Hon’ble Chief Minister and Chief Secretary, Odisha had raised this issue earlier. Minister Sri Arukha has requested Union Minister for ealy issue of the guidelines. State Government/State PSUs have sent proposals to MoEF seeking relaxation allowed to Central Government/Central PSUs in forest diversion for development projects, so that twice degraded forest land, suitable for plantation could be identified for the purpose of compensatory afforestation for execution at project cost. Hon’ble CM and Chief Secretary, Odisha have requested for this relaxation. State Government organizations /State PSUs play an equally important role for development of the State. Keeping in view of non-availability of non-forest land of large chunks, Minister Sri Arukha has requested Union Minister Sri Dave for the relaxation granted under para 3(ix)(a) of FC Act guidelines may be extended to State Government/State PSUs.Implementation of the Working Plan prescriptions for 2016-17 is not yet approved by Govt. of India. “Action taken Report (ATR)” has already been sent by State Govt. Minister Sri Arukha has requested Union Minister Shri Dave to accord necessary permission for implementation of prescriptions of the Working Plans of Odisha. Prior to 1980, certain lands classified as forest in Revenue Records in Sabik have been changed as non-forest in Hal settlement after 1980. The last date for submission of diversion proposal in this regard was 31st July 2016. Many proposals are yet to get correct status of land from Revenue
Oept. and further submission of diversion proposals. Minister Sri Arukha has requested Union Minister to kindly consider for extension of this date by another year, i.e 31.07.2017. Against a Cadre strength of 141 IFS Officers, only 94 officers are in position in Odisha. There is shortage of 47 officers i.e. about 30% of Cadre strength, which hinders the progress of various schemes and plans. Only 3 to 4 officers are being provided by Govt. of India which is quite less as compared to retirement of IFS Officers. It is requested by Minister Sri Arukha to provide 7 to 8 IFS officers each year for better management of Forest and Wildlife. Earlier, state govt used to get 100% grant from Govt. of India in various schemes. Now it has been reduced to 50 : 50 basis and in some schemes in the ratio of 60 : 40. This reduction of funding has badly affected our state. Minister Sri Arukha has requested Union Minister Shri dave to consider for additional funding for Odisha to compensate this. Union Minister Shri Dave assured Minister Sri Arukha that Cental Govt. will extend all assistance for forest and wildlife protection in Odisha.