Maoists caused major damage to India’s forests, says surveyFebruary 7th, 2012 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) While India has set an ambitious goal of increasing its forest cover to 33 percent by 2020, a Forest Survey of India report Tuesday found that forest cover has actually decreased in 2008-09 with Maoists causing heavy damage to it in Andhra Pradesh.
The India State of Forest Report, a biennial process, was based on interpretation of satellite data recorded during October 2008-March 2009.
As per the present assessment, the forest and tree cover of the country is 78.29 million hectare, which is 23.81 percent of the geographical area of the country. There is a decrease of 367 square km in the country’s forest cover.
The report recorded largest decline in forest cover in Andhra Pradesh and northeast states while gainers are Bihar and Rajasthan.
“The maximum loss of forest has been recorded in Andhra Pradesh. The major loss of forest covere is in Khammam district and surrounding areas and it is mainly because of large amount of cutting of trees by villagers at the behest of Naxals (Maoists) in the regions,” said Environment Secretary T. Chatterjee.
He said that in 2008-09, about 180 square km (of the size of Chennai city) was cleared off by Maoists in a period of just 6-7 months.
“They just asked the villagers to cut the trees, or else they will be killed. This has been even recorded in the state forest report of the Andhra Pradesh government,” Chatterjee said.
The report found that 15 states have reported increase in forest cover with highest in Punjab while 12 states have shown decrease.
Besides regular features like forest cover, tree cover, mangroves and growing stock both in forests and areas outside forests, it adds three new chapters — a detailed assessment of bamboo resources, a production-consumption assessment of wood and assessment of carbon stock in Indian forests.
Replying to a question about decrease in forest cover, Chatterjee said: “The loss is basically due to harvesting of mature plantation of Eucalyptus and other species and prevailing practice of shifting cultivation in regions of northeast.”
- Assam's Guinness bid: 40,885 saplings planted in an hour - Apr 29, 2012
- India sees reduction in wastlelands - Apr 25, 2012
- Fires ravage 20,000 hectares of Himachal forests in two months (With Images) - Jun 28, 2012
- Public power transmission companies face losses: Shinde - Nov 22, 2010
- Gujarat coral reefs a virtual gold mine - Mar 27, 2011
- Climate change hitting forests, says Dhumal - Apr 01, 2011
- Pranab lowers 2011-12 growth projection to 7.5 percent - Dec 02, 2011
- 2,184 trees illegally cut in Maoist-hit region since 2008 - Dec 08, 2010
- Andhra ready to help Bengal in tackling Maoists - Oct 20, 2011
- Air India's 2010 net loss stands at Rs.5,551 crore - Nov 18, 2010
- Assam township upbeat over 200 years of banyan tree - Jun 02, 2012
- Centre sanctions Rs. 96 crore special assistance to Maoist-affected states - Apr 26, 2010
- Maoists run for cover in their safest zone in Chhattisgarh - Mar 20, 2012
- India's tiger count rises to 1,706, habitat shrinking (Second Lead) - Mar 28, 2011
- 141 projects to restore forest cover in northeast - Mar 08, 2010
Tags: ambitious goal, andhra pradesh government, bamboo resources, behest, environment secretary, forest cover, forest report, forest survey, geographical area, hectare, india report, india state, indian forests, mangroves, maoists, maximum loss, northeast states, production consumption, satellite data, state forest