Orissa government would “very shortly” submit its annual plan of operation to the Centre for availing funds under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for 2010—11.

“We will be sending our proposals to the ministry of environment and forest in next few days as far as CAMPA funds are concerned,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also in charge of forest department, told reporters.

The Chief Minister’s reaction in this regard came a day after Union Environment minister Jairam Ramesh dashing a letter to Mr. Patnaik on the State’s lack of initiative in availing funds under the CAMPA.

“I am somewhat surprised that Orissa government has not moved with the same speed as the other States,” Mr. Ramesh had written in the letter to the Chief Minister.

Stating that the annual plan of operation for the year 2010—11 for CAPMA would be sent to the Centre “very shortly,” Mr. Patnaik said funds available under the programme were spent on afforestation activities in the State.

The State during the previous fiscal had availed Rs 131 crore under the CAMPA of which only Rs 95 crore could be spent so far, official sources said pointing out that Orissa had got more amount than other States.

The State’s action in preparing the annual action plan of operation for CAMPA seemed to have been activated after Mr. Ramesh’s letter to the Chief Minister.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Suresh Mohanty admitted that the State had so far not submitted its annual action plan of operation for CAMPA. “The State had so far spent Rs 85 crore out of the total Rs 131 crore availed in 2009-10,” he said.

This time round, the State was expected to get Rs 140 crore, about Rs 9 crore more than the previous year under the CAMPA.

Meanwhile, about Rs 1,300 crore had been deposited by the State in the CAMPA fund managed by the MoEF, they said.