Embezzlement of funds hits green cover work

The state Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority in Jammu and Kashmir has hit a roadblock as the steering committee headed by chief secretary Madhav Lal has deferred the approval of Annual Plans of Operations for 2012-13.

Sources told Deccan Herald that the state chief secretary has put a condition for the release of new funds under the CAMPA.

Details of CAMPA needed

“The principal chief conservator forests (PCCF) has been directed to produce the details of afforestation work carried under the CAMPA scheme in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 before the approval of APOs for 2012-13,” the source added.

A senior official of forest department revealed that the order came in the backdrop of the reports of alleged bunglings in CAMPA funds in the previous two years.

“Forest officers had shown money spent on the work which didn’t exist on ground. In several parts of the state the expenditure was shown to be incurred on plantation and fencing of forests. But it was never carried out,” he added.

The steering committee had directed PCCF to prepare location map of the areas being proposed for plantation during 2012-13.

Also, the locations where plantations had been done in previous two years to be depicted on Google map or management map.

CAMPA which came into existence in 2009 on the directions of the Supreme Court envisages conservation, protection, management of existing natural forests, protection of wildlife, its habitat within and outside protected areas and compensatory afforestation.

While CAMPA guidelines put stress on creating transparency and mobilising citizen support, sources said most of the forest officers in the state have brazenly violated the norms while executing projects.

PCCF Vinod Ranjan told Deccan Herald that they are making every effort to make CAMPA transparent.

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