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Non-availability of degraded land baffles Forest Dept
July 16, 2012
PANJIM: Even as forest department is bracing up to clear a backlog of afforesting 2300 hectares of degraded land pending since 2004 under Compensatory Afforestration Fund Management Authority (CAMPA), the non availability of degraded land has created impediment for the officials.
Forest department officials said that the state has good forest cover making it difficult to get the degraded woods, which are essential for afforestration under CAMPA.
Union government’s ambitious scheme seems to have been jinxed right from its announcement in the state. The Centre had held back the amount since 2004 till 2009-10 due the petition pending in the Supreme Court.
Goa contributed almost Rs 120 crore to the central kitty, of which it received its first installment of Rs 12
crore in 2009-10. But the money came at the backdrop of a huge backlog created since 2004.
As per the CAMPA guidelines, from 2004 till date, state has to raise saplings in the 3,700 hectare of the degraded land. In reality, however, the state could identify only 1,400 hectare of degraded land where afforestration has taken place.
Forest department officials said that the current government has decided to keep on hold all the diversion of forest land, till the policy is finalized, as a result of which, they are not able to get a land for carrying out afforestation.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who chaired the governing body on CAMPA, has directed to clear the backlog. To begin with, the department has decided to afforest 100 hectare of land on urgent basis for the current fiscal.
The department has already begun a process to identify the degraded land, which is difficult to be spotted. “Since the forest cover is very good, it is difficult to get the degraded forest,” a senior official said.
“Chief Minister was informed about the problem and he has decided to come up with some solution,” officials added.
As one of the resort, the forest department says that government can provide barren non-forest land, which is owned by them.