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Odisha set to implement Rs 517cr “Ama Jungle Yojana”

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to enhance forest cover in the state, Odisha government has decided to implement ‘Ama Jungle Yojana’ (AJY) in a big way, official sources said on Thursday.

The AJY ( my forest project) scheme focuses on forest restoration,promotion of sustainable management of forest by strengthening participatory forest management and improvement of livelihood of forest dependent communities.

“The scheme will be implemented over a period of eight years in three phases and covers 5,000 Vana Surakshya Samitees (VSSs),” Forest and Environment Secretary R K Sharma said.

As per the decision, the state government will take 1000 VSSs in the first phase, 2000 in the second phase and 2000 in the third. Besides, forest restoration will be taken up through Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) over an area of 5 lakh hectare at an average of 50 hectare per VSS, Sharma said.

The scheme will include activities such as ground survey, demarcation and mapping, micro plan preparation, capacity building, construction of community buildings, livelihood support, forest restoration support and NGO support.

Sources said the total cost of the scheme is estimated at Rs 517.125 crore. “Out of this, Rs 424.625 crore will be sourced from CAMPA (compensatory afforestation fund management and planning authority), Rs 50 crore from State Plan Scheme’s Community Forest Protection and Management and Rs 42.50 crore from NRLM (national rural livelihood mission), a Scheme under the Panchayatiraj department,” Sharma said.

The livelihood support component will be funded by NRLM through Income Generation Activities (IGA) by Self Help Groups (SHG) while the expenses towards the establishment cost of the dedicated Community Forest Protection and Management Programme (CFPMP) Cell, salary of staff of CFPMP Cell, funding of smokeless Chula, NGO support and managerial expenses will be funded from the State Plan, he said.

Activities like ground survey, demarcation and mapping, micro plan preparation, capacity building and forest restoration will be funded through CAMPA.

Sharma said the scheme will be executed in project mode through Odisha Forestry Sector Development Society (OFSDS).

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