Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 20:
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday expressed his dissatisfaction over the centre’s dilly-dallying in releasing funds due to Odisha under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
It was revealed at the meeting that the Union Government has so far released only Rs 1068 crores out of the Rs 4, 000 crore due to the state under the scheme.
Chairing the review meeting of the Forest and Environment Ministry, Patnaik asked the officials of Forest and Environment Department to coordinate with the Union Government to get the funds released.
He also asked the officials to come up with a plan for integrated development of eight mineral rich districts like-Angul, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh. The state plans to spend Rs 869 crores on this project.
Besides, the Chief Minister ordered the release the share of profit due to Kendu leaf pluckers for the year 2014. It may be mentioned that the leaf pluckers had received Rs 32 crores as their profit share in 2013.
The meeting also highlighted the importance of preserving tribal places of worship. While 2161 such places had been identified and preserved earlier, 200 more such places have been added during 2014-15. The government plans to add 500 more such places this financial year and complete the process within the next three years.
The Chief Minister advised the officials to add more forests under ‘Ama Jungle’ scheme and to assign the protection responsibility up to 50 hectares of jungle to local forest protection committees.
Furthermore, the meeting deliberated upon a wide range of topics such as adding the leaf pluckers under ‘Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana’, expanding the footprint of Green Odisha Mission, Jagannath forestry project, wildlife conservation and climate change etc.
Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh, Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati, Development Commissioner, Additional Principal Secretary of Finance Department and other senior officials of Forest and Environment Department were present in the meeting.