Central funds to enhance State's forest cover

Rs 650 crore for conservation, afforestation, wildlife protection

Central funds to enhance State's forest cover


The Centre in August this year released the first installment of Rs 58 crore grants from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (Campa) fund to the state for the purpose.
Karnataka is the one of the eight states to receive the grants under Campa following the Supreme Court in July this year directing the Centre to start allotting money from the fund to the respective states.

The Campa fund was created in 2004 under which industrial units using forest lands had to deposit the net value of the diverted forestland for taking up afforestation and management of forest. However, the Rs 11,000 crore collected across the country so far lay entangled in legal hurdles. Karnataka’s share in this fund is a whopping Rs 650 crore plus. The Rs 58 cr released by the Centre in August is just the first installment.
“We will hold a preliminary meeting next week to discuss the modalities of utilising the funds. The priority areas will be worked out in consultation with various departments”, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) D Nagaraja told Deccan Herald.
A Governing Body and an Executive Committee for drawing the annual plan of operation and monitor the progress of utilisation of funds have been constituted, Nagaraja said.
The nineteen-member executive committee of Karnataka will have a governing body chaired by the Chief Minister.

This apex body comprising 15 official members including seven ministers and six secretaries of various departments has been entrusted with the responsibility of taking policy decisions and monitor the progress of utilisation of funds released to the state.
Historian Ramachandra Guha, NIAS scientist P K Shetty and Western Ghats Task Force Chairman Anantha Hegde Aashisara are the non-official members of the Governing Body. The state government has also put in place a nine-member executive committee, headed by the chief secretary, for preparing the annual plan of action.
According to the notification, the executive committee among others will supervise works being implemented by the state out of the Campa funds. The PCCF is the member secretary for both the Governing Body and Executive Committee.

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