Forestry, wildlife finally get Telangana government attention
The Forest Department has been allocated Rs 1,276 crore as establishment expenditures, as compared to Rs 775 crore in the 2020-2021 Budget.
HYDERABAD: Protection of wildlife and forests finally got the attention of Telangana government. The State, often accused by conservationists of focusing only on its flagship scheme Haritha Haram, has allocated Rs 7.13 crore as capital outlay for forestry and wildlife in the 2021-2022 Budget. It had received no allocations in the previous Budget.
For forest fire management, a total of Rs 10 crore has been allocated. Project Tiger and Integrated Development Wildlife Habitats, which did not receive any funds in the previous Budget, were granted Rs 5.5 crore and Rs 1.5 crore respectively. The Nehru Zoological Park has been granted Rs 5 crore as ration charges, same as last year. The grants-in-aid for Telangana State Biodiversity Board increased from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1.25 crore.
The Forest Department has been allocated Rs 1,276 crore as establishment expenditures, as compared to Rs 775 crore in the 2020-2021 Budget. The increase is mainly due to hike of Rs 450 crore in allocation for Compensatory Afforestation, taken up to compensate the forest land lost to development projects. Finance Minister T Harish Rao said in his Budget speech that since 2015, restoration of 9.65 lakh acres of forest area has been taken up in the State and in the coming years, restoration of 10.5 lakh acres is targeted.