NEW DELHI: There is good news for Tamil Nadu’s environment and the State’s ecology with the Central government announcing on Thursday in Parliament that the forest cover in the State has increased by 2,501 sq km, the maximum for any State in the country.
Out of a total geographical area of 1,30,058 sq km in Tamil Nadu, 26,345 sq km was the total forest cover in 2015, an increase from 23,844 sq km in 2013, which represents a 9.49 per cent increase. Tamil Nadu has been allocated Rs 1.42 crore in 2015-16 under the National Afforestation Programme. In Kerala, the forest cover increased by 1,317 sq km or 6.85 per cent and was allocated Rs 1.02 crore.
Compared to this, the forest cover in certain states has actually decreased as in the case of Arunachal Pradesh (- 73 sq km) and Madhya Pradesh (- 60 sq km).
This announcement was made by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Javdekar said that the survey on forest cover was carried out by the Forest Survey of India, Dehradun, and the findings have been published in the India State of Forest Report.
As per this report, the total forest cover of the country is 7,01,673 sq km, which is 21.34 per cent of the total geographical area of the country. There has been a net increase of 3,775 sq km in the forest cover of the country.
The minister said that the government proposes to involve private and public sectors in afforestation of degraded forest areas to improve the forest conditions and decrease import of wood and wood products.