Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam Tuesday chaired the 15th meeting of the Steering Committee of the State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).The Steering Committee took note of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Rules, 2018 notified on 10th of August, 2018 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. After detailed deliberations, the Steering Committee approved an outlay of Rs 62.23 Crore for undertaking conservation & protection works by Forest and Allied Departments and Rs 60.93 Cr by Wild Life Department. Chief Secretary emphasised on effective utilization of CAMPA funds for compensatory afforestation particularly in degraded forest areas, soil moisture conservation, wildlife management, catchment area treatment and increasing green cover outside forests areas. The Forest Department was asked to examine the desirability of setting up Herbal Park in Srinagar like the Tawi Herbal Eco Park In Jammu. Chief Secretary also impressed upon the Forest Department to only propose such works /activities under the Annual Plan of Operations (APOs), which are covered under CAMPA guidelines to ensure financial discipline and to make it outcome oriented.
“The focus should be on maintaining the green cover in J&K, making it a nature lovers paradise” he observed.The Steering Committee also reviewed the contribution of CAMPA towards conservation and restoration of Forests in the State. It was informed that about 10 Lakh ha in the State is ‘Open’ forest area and around 700 ha is treated annually under the CAPEX Budget and 5000 Ha is treated annually under CAMPA. Further, from the year 2011-12 onwards, under CAMPA, compensatory afforestation has been undertaken on 41,113 Ha, 132 Lakh Rft of forest area has been fenced, 487 Lakh plants have been raised in Nurseries and 300 Lakh saplings have been planted and 30716 demarcation pillars have been installed in the Forest areas.To ensure safe custody of Forest land records, Muhafizkhaana and ICT Labs have been set up in Jammu and Srinagar. The demarcation record of the forest lands has been scanned and stored on the State Data Centre and uploaded on its website. Coordinates of 1567 plantation units raised during 2010-11 to 2016-17 are available on e-green watch portal of the MoEF & CC, GoI, whereas, Plantation/treatment areas of 2017-18 are in the process of being uploaded on this portal.