Madhya Pradesh forest department will work on the revival of degraded forests this year during the monsoon season. A degraded forest is a patch of forest with a canopy density of 40 per cent or less.
The Ministry of Defence is giving the money to MP to compensate for the trees it is cutting down in Andaman and Nicobar, for a project.
Significantly, 40 per cent of the forests in the state fall under the category of degraded forests. In such a situation, instead of planting saplings in Andaman and Nicobar, plantation scheme in Madhya Pradesh can prove to be effective for the forests.
As per the latest records, MP has the highest 94,689 sq km forest cover in the country.
5 crore saplings to be planted, up from 3.5 crore
Forest Department is preparing to plant five crore saplings in the upcoming rainy season across the state.
All the 170 nurseries of the department have been instructed to prepare the saplings. At the same time, a strategy to improve more than 40,000 hectares of degraded forests (where there are no trees left) is also being worked on.
On an average five crore saplings are planted every year in the state. In this, the forest department plants about three and a half crore saplings. As per department officials, this time the department is planning to plant five crore saplings.
Accordingly, preparations have begun across the state including Indore division. To connect it with self-reliant MP, the task of preparation is being completed by employing villagers.
About 8 lakh villagers to be employed
Forest department is planning to employ lakhs of people in the state for helping with various tasks including plantation, sapling preparation, etc.
The department has pledged to provide employment to about 8 lakh people in the next financial year from various forestry works (eg plantation, production, forest protection, collection of minor forest produce, storage and eco-tourism, home stay).
Focus on protection of forest
Three highly specialized force companies have been deployed in 14 highly sensitive forest areas of the state, which protect the forests, wildlife and forest workers. There are flying squads in all 16 forest areas, which provide additional security assistance to the local staff. Forest officials have been given 3,157 guns, 286 revolvers to deal with the criminals.