Green Odisha Mission to increase state’s green cover

Bhubaneswar: With a loss of about 26 lakh trees in cyclone Phailin, Odisha government today decided to implement an ambitious scheme worth Rs 1763.52 crore for increasing the state's green cover.

The scheme will be implemented over a period of four years from 2013?14 to 2016?17 and about 44.52 crore seedlings will be planted during the period, said Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra.

A state forest and environment department proposal in this regard was approved by the state cabinet today, he said.

While 28.92 crore seedlings will be planted by the department under various schemes, 15.60 crore seedlings would be planted through public plantation programme by communities, Mohapatra said.

This year, a budget provision of Rs 85.40 crore has been made to the Forest and Environment department's budget.

At least 7.65 crore saplings have already been planted under various schemes during the current year, official sources said.

"The scheme will be implemented under the Green Odisha Mission through Principal Chief Conservator of Forests," Mohapatra said, adding the new scheme envisages a target of block plantation over 1.60 lakh hectares and rehabilitation of degraded forests with gap plantation over an area of 1.90 lakh hectares.

Rehabilitation of degraded forests through 5000 Vana Surakshya Samities will also be taken up under the Sabuja Odisha Mission as a sub-scheme, sources said.