Uttarakhand News

Over 13,000 hectares of forest land still left for afforestation, Forest Department takes no notice

While the Uttarakhand government is urging the Centre to sanction green bonus to take care of the forests and its resources, forest department has been careless in maintaining the green cover of Uttarakhand forests. It has been found that staggering 13,000 hectares of forest land is devoid of tree plantation and is lacking green cover. It was agreed that for every forest land acquisition for development projects, forest department will plant tree saplings (complimentary afforestation) to maintain the green cover balance. However, the same has not been achieved.

The clumsiness in the afforestation process can be seen from the fact that in the financial year 2016-17, more than 3500 hectares of forest land was targeted for afforestation by planting tree saplings, however, only 1300 hectare was afforested. Now, the government is planning to completed the target of 13,000 hectares in 3 years in a systematic and planned manner. In the first year, 3500 hectares of the forest land will be afforested while in second and third year, 4500 and 5500 hectares will be afforested respectively. While the target has been set for tree plantation in 10 hectare per day, whether the government will be able to achieve it is a big question.

Inputs from Amar Ujala