'Green bonus' for preserving forest cover

Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh told reporters here on Sunday that the modalities of the scheme were being worked out.

The proposal is to provide funds over and above the funds sanctioned by the Planning Commission and Finance Commission as an incentive to states which show good progress in protecting and expanding forest cover, he added.

He said the present forest cover in the country was around 21 per cent, including two per cent high density forest, 10 per cent medium density and nine per cent degraded forest.
While maintaining that the Centre was committed to protect sensitive ecologically hotspots like Western Ghats, the minister said that he had made his stand clear against the sanctioning of the Gundia Hydro electric power project in the region. 

“I have already written to the Chief Minister twice to drop the project,” Jairam Ramesh said.

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