Act before it’s too late! Odisha Assembly raises concerns over environment

Bhubaneswar: Act before it’s too late… Concerns like this were raised in the State Assembly on Tuesday when members of the ruling-BJD expressed their fear of Odisha turning into a hot cauldron if immediate and adequate steps are not taken to preserve the environment. Concerns were also raised that any callous attitude towards the issue may turn Bhubaneswar into another Delhi where the air quality is deteriorating every day.

During the Question Hour in the House, ruling-BJD MLAs alleged that the State government has not been able to utilize the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) funds.

Responding to the allegations, Forest and Environment Minister, Bikram Keshari Arukh said, saplings have been planted in 2,99,055 hectare of land for Forest purpose. He further informed that for the financial year 2019-20, Rs 616.94 crore has been earmarked for utilization from the CAMPA fund for various afforestation projects in the State.

“The State-level steering committee on CAMPA has already approved the fund for annual action plan for 2019-20,” said Arukh.

On the allegations that the State government is unable to utilize the Central assistance under CAMPA fund, the minister said that the State has so far (till June 2019) utilized Rs 2548.80 crore of the Rs 2644.15 crore released by the Centre.