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Odisha’s forest cover increases by 3.4 lakh hectare in 20 years

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Pic courtesy: http://www.odishaforest.in

Bhubaneswar: The forest cover in Odisha has increased by around 3.4 lakh hectare during the past two decades, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here today.

Attending the Divisional Forest Officers’ (DFOs) Conference at state secretariat, Patnaik said that the sincere efforts should continue for increasing the green cover along with participation of people through Vana Surakshya Samiti (VSS) and Eco Development Committees (EDCs) in the state.

“The Joint Forest Management should be strengthened for protection and conservation of forests and wildlife. I would expect the DFOs to implement all afforestation activities like Ama Jungle Yojana (AJY), Green Mahanadi Mission and many other programmes with utmost dedication,” Patnaik said.

For increasing the green cover, the CM suggested that the soil and moisture conservation measures should be taken up to mitigate the drought like situation, which will also be helpful for the wildlife.

Talking about compassionate amount released to the victim’s families for the loss due to man-animal conflicts, Patnaik said that the government has increased the amount for the human loss of life from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh.

He said that the compassionate amount should be paid in the field within time frame to ensure people not to suffer under any circumstances.

He batted for protecting and managing wildlife habitat in a manner to reduce man-animal conflicts.

Odisha government has also benefited the Kendu Leaves pluckers and binders.

Approximately, 8 lakh rural people are benefitted with one single forest produce ‘Kendu Leaves’.

“The pluckers and binders are receiving dividends, incentives, allowances and are covered under various social security schemes. I wish the DFOs should implement the welfare measures most sincerely for the benefit of people, particularly the disadvantaged groups,” Patnaik said.

He spoke about most important aspect that is forest and environment clearances for the infrastructure development.

He said that the forest and environment clearances should be fast tracked to avoid the delay in the developmental initiatives.

He lauded the vital role played by the DFOs and front line staff of the forest department for efficient management of forest and wildlife.

He hoped that the positive outcome of the conference will help in conserving the forests and wildlife, fulfilling the developmental aspirations of the State and initiating appropriate action for mitigating climate change challenges.