Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Choudhary Lal Singh today called upon the officers of Forests and its allied wings to take requisite steps for massive afforestation and infrastructural development under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (State CAMPA).
Chairing a high level meeting of officers of forests department, the Minister sought information about the Steering Committee meeting which was earlier chaired by Chief Secretary.
The Minister emphasized on massive afforestation and directed the officers to take anticipatory measure and plant the saplings on open chunk of forest land in order to check encroachments. He asked the officers to be proactive and intensify field visits to monitor the developmental activities launched by the department to achieve tangible results on ground. He directed the officers to use the funds judiciously sanctioned under CAMPA so that set targets are achieved in stipulated time frame.
Reviewing the physical and financial progress achieved during the last and current fiscal year with regard to the Wildlife Conservation and Protection in various regions of State, the Minister called for coordinated efforts to launch massive afforestation across the State under CAMPA and ensuring Wildlife protection in best possible ways.
Directing the officers to launch massive anti-timber smuggling drive and nab the culprits who are benefiting out of the current prevailing situation, the Minister also asked for intensifying drive to curb timber smuggling and its perpetrators across the State. He said that Government is making all out efforts for the preservation and protection of green wealth of the State.
The meeting was informed that Rs 68.28 crore have been sanctioned for Forest Department, while as Department of Wildlife has got Rs. 33.13 crore under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
The meeting was informed that the Steering Committee meet held under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, B R Sharma has approved a target of 3955 Ha (area) to be treated for Compensatory Afforestation during 2016-17. The Steering Committee also discussed and accorded approval to the Annual Plan of Operations (APOs) for Wildlife Conservation and Protection for the year.
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Giving brief account of physical and financial achievements registered during last 6 years under CAMPA, the meeting was informed that over 31,400 Ha have been brought under Compensatory Afforestation against a target of 24,000 Ha. As many as 350 lakh plants have been raised in the nurseries of the State during the same period, besides taking up fencing, boundary demarcation, soil conservation and pasture development works under CAMPA. It was informed that as many as 87 lakh plants are proposed to be produce in nurseries under CAMPA during 2016-17.
Notably an authority to be known as the “State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority” (CAMPA) is intended as an instrument to accelerate activities for preservation of natural forests, management of wildlife, infrastructure development in the sector and other allied works. The State CAMPA receive money collected from user agencies toward compensatory afforestation, additional compensatory afforestation, penal compensatory afforestation, Net Present Value (NPV) and all other amounts recovered from such agencies under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and presently lying with the Adhoc CAMPA.
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Commissioner Secretary, Forests, Muhammad Afzal Bhat, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A K Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden, AK Khanna, CCF Jammu, CCF Kashmir, Director Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing O P Sharma, Director Soil Conservation, Managing Director, State Forest Corporation, Director, Social Forestry, Suresh Chugh, Director, Forest Protection Force, Suresh Gupta, besides Divisional Forest Officers of Social Forestry, Soil Conservation, Forests Protection Force and Wild Life Protection Force were also present during the meeting.