Forest area declines in 14 states

The forest cover in the country has decreased by 367 sq kms with the green area decreasing in 14 states, as per a forest report released here on Wednesday.

According to Indian State of Forest Report 2011, forest cover has decreased in 14 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Tripura, an official release said here on Wednesday.

But it has increased in Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, and Andaman and Nicobar. Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Sikkim have maintained their forest cover, the release said.

Madhya Pradesh is still on top in the country with total 77,700 sq kms forest cover followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 67,410 sq kms, an official release said while quoting the State of Forest Report 2011.

Next in the list is Chhattisgarh with 55,674 sq kms, followed by Maharashtra with 50,646 sq kms and Odisha with 48,903 sq kms of forest cover.

Madhya Pradesh forest minister Sartaj Singh has directed officers to facilitate increase in density of forest cover by planting maximum saplings in moderately dense areas and further strengthening forest protection arrangements.

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