Compensatory afforestation pointers ignored as solely 2.9 million bushes had been planted over this time
A whopping 18.5 million bushes have been felled for widening of roads whereas the loss has been compensated with the planing of solely 2.9 million bushes in Odisha up to now decade.
The astronomical tree felling numbers got here to gentle when Odisha Forest and Atmosphere Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on Tuesday furnished a reply within the State Meeting to a question on what number of bushes had been felled in street enlargement initiatives.
As per the rules, two instances of bushes felled in non-forest areas must be planted, whereas 10 instances of bushes felled in forested areas are required to be grown by consumer companies by means of Odisha Forest Improvement Company.
As a substitute of assembly the large plantation targets, far fewer numbers of bushes had been planted to compensate for the lack of tree cowl.
Mr. Arukha acknowledged: “From 2010-11 to 2020-21, a complete of 1,85,00,748 bushes have been felled for the widening of roads in Odisha. Until now, 29,83,573 bushes have been planted at an estimated price of ₹66.17 crore underneath afforestation programme to compensate the lack of inexperienced cowl.”
“Minimal numbers of bushes are lower down for widening of roads. Person companies apply for forest diversions underneath Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Below street expansions, avenue plantations are usually taken up,” mentioned he mentioned.
In line with the data offered within the Meeting, extra bushes had been planted than felled solely in three monetary years — 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2013-14 — in previous 10 years.
In 2015-16, a whopping 62.03 lakh bushes had been chopped whereas solely 2.84 lakh bushes might be planted. In 2019-20, as many as 26.77 lakhs bushes had been lower down whereas solely 59,631 bushes had been planted to compensate the loss.
Environmentalists criticise the State authorities for not taking compensatory afforestation severely.
“The translocation of grown bushes must be given first precedence than compensatory afforestation. If we’re capable of translocate a tree and it survives, it should instantly compensate the loss. The brand new plantation will take years to offset the environmental loss,” mentioned environmentalist Biswajit Mohanty.
Mr. Mohanty identified that consumer companies had been dealing with an issue in figuring out vacant areas for taking on compensatory afforestation programmes. The federal government should give you detailed mapping of the remaining vacant area for plantation, he mentioned.