Even as the Opposition slammed the State Government for increasing pollution level in the State in the Assembly, Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray said afforestation programme will be launched on a mission mode.
Replying to a debate on the budget of Forest and Environment Department, Routray said a new scheme called Greening Odisha will be launched in next financial year with a budgetary support of Rs 85 crore. Different types of afforestation programmes will be taken up under the scheme.
“As per the State of Forest Report 2011, the forest cover in the State has increased by 48 sq kms compared to 2009 assessment. The department has planned to plant 10 crore trewes during 2013-14.
Urban plantation has been taken up in 29 cities in the current financial year with planting of 8.33 lakh saplings and plan is afoot to cover 50 urban centres in 2013-14 with plantation of 10 lakh trees.
The Minister said steps have been taken to strengthen the Odisha State Pollution Control Board and three more regional centres will be opened at Paradeep, Kalinga Nagar and Jharsuguda in next financial year.