Odisha unhappy over ‘meagre’ fund release from CAMPA

Bhubaneswar: Concerned over the release of "meagre" amount by the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), Odisha government today said its forest management and related activities had been severely affected.
The state government's concerns were expressed at the the first management council meeting of CAMPA under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The state government by May 2013 has deposited an amount of Rs 3779.84 crore.
"Odisha used to get the amount which is less than the amount of interest generated from its own deposit in CAMPA funds," said Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray.
While the state government had asked Rs 238 crore for 2009-10 from the Centre under CAMPA fund, it got only Rs 131 crore. Similarly, in 2010-11, the state received Rs 140 crore against Rs 214 crore sought. The amount received in 2012-13 was Rs 265 crore, he said.
CAMPA was constituted in 2009 as per a Supreme Court order which directed all the state governments to carry out developmental activities in the mineral rich areas with funds collected from agencies operating in mining areas.
The apex court had directed states to deposit the collected amount with the ad hoc fund of the central government. The empowered committee constituted by the Supreme Court has drawn up guidelines, according to which a host of activities like forest conservation, management, wildlife conservation and afforestation should be taken up.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to spend CAMPA funds to carry out a host of developmental activities through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with major thrust on the sectors like education, healthcare and drinking water.
It was decided in the meeting that to take up afforestation in an extensive way, each forest circles and district would have a mega nursery each.
Meanwhile, about 75 nurseries had been opened so far out of the total 282 units proposed in different forest ranges, official sources said.