Odisha government's state level steering committee for CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management & Planning Authority) has approved an annual plan of Rs 1,086 crore for the 2023-24 fiscal with a focus on reducing man-animal conflict.

Chief Secretary SC Mohapatra on Wednesday chaired the meeting which approved the annual plan. Mohapatra raised the issue relating to wildlife management activities which are being extensively carried out through CAMPA funds.

He said afforestation programmes are also to be monitored using a CAMPA tracker and through satellite every six months and to be verified in the field through frequent inspection by senior officers.

A joint meeting with the concerned department is to be conducted to prepare a five-year action plan to upgrade forest roads to grade-1 metalling and the material-intensive components such as culverts and causeways need to be covered under CAMPA funding, the chief secretary suggested.

Mohapatra also stressed on the relocation of villages from the tiger reserve sanctuary. He said the VHF networking needs to be improved in all divisions ensuring all days monitoring.

Engagement of forest labor under MGNREGS for 100 days of work for which a definite pool will be created at the gram panchayat levels, he added.

The chief secretary also directed the concerned officials to prepare a comprehensive plan to avoid human-animal conflict.

He opined that the Chandaka Wild Life Division needs to identify all the revenue forest patches in order to develop the elephant corridor.

The Chief Executive Officer, State Authority, CAMPA Pradeep Raj Karat presented the details of the activities proposed under CAMPA annual plan of operations (APO) 2023-24 with a financial outlay of Rs 1,085.94 crore.

The APO mainly focuses on taking up plantations and other activities like maintenance of old plantations, forest protection, fire protection, simultaneous silvicultural operations for bamboo forests, soil and moisture conservation activities in forest lands, wildlife management, relocation of villages from protected areas, Forest infrastructure development, etc.

Additional Chief Secretary, Forest, Environment & Climate Change Mona Sharma suggested that plan made at district level for combating forest fire will be discussed with the concerned district collectors for effective control of forest fire and it should be uploaded in the public domain.

She also suggested preparing a 5-year Action Plan for the improvement of forest roads identifying all the revenue forest patches.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Debidutta Biswal, Principal CCF (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden Sushil Kumar Popli, Principal CCF (Nodal & FCA) Sushanta Nanda, along with senior officers from concerned departments were present in the meeting.