Rs 10,000-Crore Green India, Phase 1 starts this year

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New Delhi, May 8 (UNI) The country's most ambitious greening project takes off this year with three million hactares of the degraded forest being taken up for afforestation at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests proposes to take up plantation over six million hectares of degraded forests in two phases in the next 10 years under the 'Green India' programme.

It is estimated that about Rs one lakh would be needed for planting on three hectares of land. The money collected under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) would be used for these projects .

In the first phase, three million hectares of the degraded forest land would be taken up for afforestation, for which CAMPA would provide initially Rs 3,000 crore followed by Rs 1,000 crore per year for four years out of the annual accruals in Compensatory Afforestation Funds (CAF).

The interest bearing CAF shall be placed under the Public Account under the control of the Central government and managed by the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) in the manner prescribed by the Central government.

The remaining funds would be mobilised from the market, development partner association, carbon credits, income from tree felling at ecologically appropriate intervals to augment funds, and service debts, if any.

The money collected under CAMPA would be mainly used for site specific schemes approved for taking up compensatory afforestation, artificial regeneration-plantation, natural assisted regeneration, forest management, protection, infrastructure, development, wild life protection and management. These activities besides greening the country would also help in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

The CAF shall consist of receipts of all money from the user agencies towards Compensatory Afforestation, Net Present Value of forest land diverted for non-forestry purpose, Additional Compensatory Afforestation, Penal Compensation Afforestation, Catchment Area Treatment Plan and other sources.

The CAF shall also receive funds recoverable from the User agencies in cases where forest land diverted falls within National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries, for undertaking activities related to protection of biodiversity and wildlife.

UNI NAZ JT GC1859

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