Odisha has made exemplary performance in compensatory afforestation projects. The CAG has remarked that around 95% of the compensatory afforestation of the country has been done in Odisha alone; and the State has exceeded the target of afforestation. This has been discussed in the State Level Steering Committee of State CAMPA held under Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sri Gokul Chandra Pati in secretariat conference hall on Tuesday.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sri J. D Sharma while outlining issues for discussion relating to compensatory afforestation and implementation of APO (Annual Action Plan) 2014-15 apprised the committee about the remarks of Comptroller Accounts General of India. Reviewing the implementation of Annual Action Plans, Chief Secretary Sri Pati has directed to involve JFM ( Joint Forest Management) committees and VSSs ( Vana Surakshya Samities ) in ANR ( assisted natural regeneration) and compensatory afforestation activities.
Replying to media query CCF Sri Subash Chandra Swain said that Compensatory afforestation has been done over 42,910 hect up to 31st March, 2014. This has exceeded the target by 183 hect of afforestation. The requirement of afforestation against forest diversion for various projects was around 42,727 hect. In addition to this, afforestation has also been done over 5,540 hect during 2014-15. The target has been set to have afforestation over another 5428 hect during 2015-16
PCCF Sri A.K. Mohapatra present in the meeting presented the updated status of e-Green Watch in Odisha. Discussion reveals that e-Green Watch has gathered momentum in the State. FSI Dehradun has opined that during April, 2015 Forest department of Odisha has uploaded polygon of 11,433 work sites on e-Green watch portal. As of now, 12,500 geo-coordinate data have been uploaded. The uploading of the actual condition of the worksites taken up during 2009-10,2010-11, 1011-12 and 2012-13 has been completed.
Uploading of the work sites of subsequent years is in progress. It may be pertinent to mention here that e-Green Watch portal presents the space time visual scene of the work sites and the works undertaken which ensures its transparency. Online system has also been developed for monitoring of CAMPA activities. Chief Secretary Sri Pati has advised the department to follow OFSDC model for online and mobile monitoring of the CAMPA projects.
The operation of APO 2014-15 was discussed in the meeting. The financial outlay for 2014-15 APO has been kept at Rs.527.67 cr. The types of activities outlined in the APO includes compensatory afforestation, , Assisted Natural Regeneration, Conservation, Regeneration and Management of natural forests, forest protection, control and prevention of forest fire, pillar posting and maintenance of forest boundaries, strengthening of range offices, wild life management, capacity building , monitoring and evaluation, research activities and other infrastructural development.
Provision has been made for subsidiary silvicultural operation in ongoing working plans. It is expected that this will address to the silvicultural requirement of the SWC coupes. In addition to 32 forest protection squads engaged for protection of natural forests, 3 new squads have been engaged for vulnerable divisions namely Rourkela, Baripada and Ghumsur North. Provision has also been made for installation of CCTV surveillance in forest check gates. Installation of solar power units for external electrification in 7 forest divisions has been included in the APO.
The Development Commissioner Sri U.N.Behera, MD OSFDC Sri Ajit Kumar Pattanik along with other senior officers of the department participated in discussions.