Goa’s afforestation move awaits Centre’s nod

NT NETWORK

Panaji

The state government will contribute funds received under
the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority to develop
and conserve 800 hectares of degraded forestlands in Karnataka once the central
government accords approval to the initiative.

Additional principal chief conservator of forests Santosh
Kumar on Thursday told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the Karnataka government has
already allotted 800 hectares of degraded forestlands to the Goa government –
200 hectares in Dharwad and 300 hectares
each in Belagavi and Karwar.

Goa will be the first state in the country to contribute
for increasing greenery in other state, he said, adding that on the request of
the state government the Centre has for the first time made special provision
for the purpose.

“When government authorities like the National Highways
Authority of India and the Indian Railways divert the forestlands for
constructing highways or laying railway tracks they compensate to the state
forest department by developing the degraded forestland double than what has
been diverted,” Kumar explained.

When asked as to why the state government has decided to
spend the CAMPA fund in other state and not in Goa, Kumar said that Goa does
not have large tracts of degraded forestlands which could be conserved under
the CAMPA.

He, however, clarified that this does not mean that the
state forest department will spend all the funds received under the CAMPA to
develop the degraded forestlands in Karnataka.

“As per the recommendations of a Supreme Court-appointed
expert committee, the state government gets net present value for diverting
forestland to non-forest purposes, which is a huge amount and can be used for
various purposes including soil conservation in the state. Besides, three per
cent of the funds can be used for improving facilities in the forests where
there are habitations,” he elaborated.

Kumar said the state will appoint government institutions
like Goa University or any other institution located in Dharwad and Belagavi as
a third party for monitoring the projects.

There are funds of Rs 172 crore which will be used in
preserving forestlands in Goa.
The post Goa’s afforestation move awaits Centre’s nod appeared first on The Navhind Times.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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