Bhubaneswar: Odisha government approved an annual planned budget of Rs 563 crore for execution of several programmes for wildlife conservation and forest development in the State.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Subash Chandra Mishra informed that the fund will be spent on several projects for wildlife including restoration of forests and increasing the number of water bodies for wild animals in forest area.
The money has been sanctioned under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) fund.
As per the Forest Survey of India Report, the forest cover in Odisha has registered an increase of 885 sq KM and covered 51,239 sq km. The forest cover in the state in 2015 was around 50,354 sq km and it went up to 51,239 sq km in 2017.
“Due to some concentrated efforts taken by the forest department in last two years , there has been an increase in forest area in the State,” Mishra added.
The annual budget as well as action plan was discussed at a meeting held under chairmanship of Chief Secretary AP Padhi at the Secretariat on Saturday. Forest and Environment Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra and Chief Wildlife Warden Sandeep Tripathy also attended the meeting.