Parl panel calls for addressing deforestation issue in NE states

Parl panel calls for addressing deforestation issue in NE states
(Representational image)
NEW DELHI, DEC 2 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 12/2/2021 1:44:22 PM IST

Expressing shock over the declining forest cover in Northeastern States, a Parliamentary panel has asked the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to take all necessary steps to ensure that the trend of decline in forest cover in these states is checked at the earliest, TNT report stated.

The panel in its 349th report submitted in the Parliament on December 1 stated that shifting cultivation and development activities have been the reasons for the decline in forest cover in the Northeastern States.

“The panel is concerned about the decline in the forest cover in the Northeastern states, which is 65.34 per cent of its geographical area in comparison to the national forest cover of 21.54%,” it said.

As per India State of Forest Report (ISFR)-2017, a decline of 630 sqkm of forest area has been observed in the Northeastern states.

Expressing concern over the findings, the panel recommends that the concerned state governments and the Union Ministry must look into the factors responsible for the decline in the forest cover and take all necessary steps to check it. 

Meanwhile, the Union Ministry has informed that it has implemented National Afforestation Programme (NAP) since 2000-02, for regeneration of degraded forest area and due weightage is given for NE states in allocating the funds under the scheme. “An amount of Rs 828 crores have been released to NE states, since the inception of the scheme in 2000-02 till 2018-19. The percentage released to NE States has been steadily increasing over 11th, 12th and beyond 12th Plan Periods as 21%, 24% and 28% respectively,” it said.

Green India Mission (GIM) activities were started in the Financial Year 2015-16. So far and a sum of Rs 237.067 crore has been released under GIM to twelve States for carrying out GIM activities, the ministry added. The Environment ministry further informed that a sum of Rs 79.723 crore has been released for three Northeastern states namely Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim, and proposals of other states will be considered based on fund availability and project norms.

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