HYDERABAD: Forest areas experiencing negative change in forest cover in Telangana has increased by 105 per cent since the State formation in spite of the government launching the ambitious ‘Telangana ku Haritha Haaram’ scheme for increasing the forest cover in the State to 33 per cent.
The Telangana forest department needs to take a look at the forest divisions that are denting its ambitions of increasing the forest cover in the State. While some forest divisions in the state are witnessing an increase in forest cover, in some, negative change in the forest cover has gone up rendering the overall effect of change in forest cover to negative.
As per the latest forest cover change data by Telangana forest department accessed by Express, the state lost 1,736 hectares (Ha) of forest in 2016-17. This is in spite of positive change being recorded in 2,000 ha of forest area.
From formation of state till now
Since 2014-15, the positive change in forest cover has increased in Telangana from 706 Ha to 2,000 Ha in 2016-17. However, it is not a matter to rejoice as in the same period, the negative change in forest cover has increased much faster - by about 105 percent - from 1,818 Ha in 2016-17 to 3,741 Ha in 2017-18. The highest ‘negative change in forest cover’, in the period 2016-17, is 325Ha at Asifabad forest division located close to Forest minister Jogu Ramanna’s constituency Adilabad.