Forest Department plans to develop protective forests on the land: Minister
The Tamil Nadu Government in the recent past has retrieved 11,250 acres forest land that was under encroachment, Forest and Environment Minister M.S.M. Anandan has said.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department’s Wildlife Week celebrations here on Wednesday, he said that on the retrieved land, the department planned to develop protective forests.
The government under Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had sanctioned Rs. 20 crore for improving fodder and water facilities in the forests. This would minimise, if not prevent, the entry to wild animals into human habitations.
Listing out the State Government’s achievements, he said that the Government with help from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development was engaged in increasing forest cover at Rs. 50 crore. This was in addition to the sapling planting campaign the Government had taken up in the recent past at Rs. 49 crore.
The objective was to plant 65 lakh saplings across the State.
Last year, the Government had planted 64 lakh saplings at Rs. 30 crore.
The Government had planned a butterfly park in Srirangam at Rs. 8 crore, he said and added that work was underway to establish the park at the earliest.
The objective of the Government was to increase green cover, prevent encroachments in forests, conserve wildlife and minimise human-animal conflict. The recent move to shift to Anamalai and Mudumalai the elephants that entered human habitations in Vellore was part of this.
Gautam Dey, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, also spoke on the occasion.