In Last Five Years, Environmental Ministry Permitted Chopping Off 1.09 Crore Trees For 'Development'
In a shocking revelation, Environmental Ministry admitted having permitted cutting of over one crore trees in the last five years for development work, the ministry told the parliament about the same on Friday (26th July). Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo stated that the ministry permitted cutting of a total of 1.09 Crore trees between 2014 and 2019.
According to the figures produced by the ministry, a whopping total of 26.91 Lakh trees have been cut in the past twelve months (2018-2019). Supriyo also added that the ministry did not take into account the data of the trees destroyed in forest fires.
“Trees are felled for various development purposes with the permission of competent authorities in accordance with the procedure laid down in various Acts. However, the Ministry does not maintain data regarding the cutting of trees due to forest fire,” Supriyo said.
According to the data provided by the ministry, the ministry has admitted having permitted a cutting of 23.3 Lakh trees in 2014-15,17.01 lakh in 2016-17 and 25.5 lakh in 2017-18 and as mentioned earlier, 26.91 Lakh trees in 2018-19.
Details about the afforestation programme
Babul Supriyo briefed that a sum of Rs 237.07 Crore has been released in the last four years to a total of twelve states under the Green Indian Mission, which is to be used for afforestation in an area of 87113.86 hectares and for providing alternate energy sources to 56,319 households.
An amount of Rs. 328.90 Crores has been allotted to the states for treating a new area of 94828 hectares during the last four years, the funds were allocated under the National Afforestation Programme.
The Green India Mission was launched in 2015 and under the mission, the country targets to increase forest/tree cover area by 5 million hectares (MHA), the mission also aims to increase the quality of another 5 MHA of forest cover, the increase in forest cover could help the country get rid of 50-60 million tonnes of Carbon by 2020