Koraput: To compensate for the loss of trees in Cyclone Hudhud, Jeypore forest division in Koraput district has decided to take up plantation in over 200 hectares of forest land.

Officials said the thick forest cover of Ramagiri and Boipariguda forest range under the division was lost due to the cyclone which hit the district on October 12.

"Though it is impossible to regain the lost trees as those were decades old, efforts will be made to cover more forest land under plantation. As per a preliminary report prepared by the department the new plantation will be done in over 200 hectares. If more suitable patches are found then it will also be covered under plantation," said Jeypore divisional forest officer Bijaya Kumar Acharya.

As per the damage report of the forest department at least 1,765 valuable trees comprising sal, teak, eucalyptus and chakunda varieties in the district were uprooted in the cyclone.

"As many as 629 sal and teak trees which were decades old have been uprooted in the Gupteswar forest range. As per preliminary assessment report the loss of trees is around Rs one crore," Acharya said.

Officials said hundreds of new tress which were two to three years-old had also been uprooted in the cyclone and it will take several years to compensate the loss of green cover in real terms.

"Trees in large numbers belonging to private parties had also been uprooted in the cyclone, but assessment of those trees has not been done," he said.

However, the most pressing problem now was shortage of staff which is impeding the removal of the fallen trees from the forests while both villagers and timber mafias are targeting the salvaged trees.

"As it will take months together to remove the uprooted trees we have formed mobile squads to keep an eye on them. With limited manpower we are trying to collect the uprooted trees from the forest at the earliest," Acharya said.