In order to increase the green cover in Odisha, the state government on Tuesday approved its annual action plan carrying an expenditure of Rs 803.65 crores under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for the fiscal year 2020-21. The action plan was approved by the CAMPA under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy. In the meeting chaired, the government also decided to undertake various activities which included block plantation, assisted natural regeneration, bald-hill plantation, maintenance of previous year's plantation, fodder and fruit-bearing plantation, bamboo culture and wildlife management.
Speaking to news agency an official stated that a target to take up plantation in 1,500 hectares, with 1,600 saplings per hectare during 2020-21 and to grow 5,71,48,000 seedlings during the period has been set up. The issue of forest fire protection was also figured in the meeting. The official also stated that an amount of Rs 41.13 crores was approved for maintenance of the fire protection line, operation of 216 fire protection squads and support to the Vana Surakhya Samiti (VSS) for fire protection work.
Uma Nanduri, Chief Executive Officer of CAMPA, announced that As per India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019, the forest area in Odisha has increased by 274 sq km from 2017 to 2019. 55,534.40 hectares of the forest area has been diverted for different purposes, she added.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday called upon BIMSTEC countries to improve their early warning dissemination system and capacity building for protection of cultural heritage sites from natural disasters. The heritage sites must be preserved for future generations at any cost because they not only represent the cultural identity of a nation but are also a driving force for the country's economy, the chief minister said.
Patnaik said this while inaugurating the second BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2020), hosted by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization of seven nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia.