Odisha to regenerate degraded bamboo forests

Bhubaneswar: To capitalise on the rising demand for bamboo products, the State government has decided to regenerate the degraded bamboo forests on about 5,000 sqkm.

The decision in this regard was taken at the Empowered Committee Meeting (ECM) under the chairmanship of chief secretary G C Pati yesterday, an official said.

Pati directed forest officials to involve Vana Sanrakshyana Samities (VSSs) actively in silvicultural operations, he said.

Odisha State Forest Development Corporation (OSFDC) was asked to take feedback from the stake holders as views of potential raw material producers (RMP) need to be taken on the dynamics of bamboo cultivation and trading, he informed.

At the meeting, it was also decided that all pre-bidding operations would be completed and modalities of working bamboo operations decided by September 15, 2015 and the actual field operation would begin by October 1, 2015.

The bamboo operations through RMP will be allowed for a period of one rotation, which is four years.

The meeting also resolved to target creation of 40,000 to 45,000 sale units of bamboo in the state. However, the details of the target would be decided after getting feedback from the stake holders and market demand, officials said.

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests was directed to set division wise targets for bamboo plantation, the official said.

OSFDC has earned good profit from sale of bamboo and other forest produce during the last three years, the officials said add it had paid a royalty of Rs 350 lakhs to the state government in 2011-12, which increased to Rs 402 lakhs in 2012-13. For the 2013-14, the corporation has so far paid Rs 340 lakhs to the state as royalty.