Over 7 lakh trees were removed and 12 lakh saplings were planted in Dakshina Kannada last year: Deputy Conservator of Forests

Forest Department plans to get over 6.5 lakh saplings in the district during the current year, says DCF Anthony S. Mariappa

Published - May 24, 2024 08:58 pm IST - MANGALURU

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Conservator of Forests Antony S. Mariappa at an interaction programme with media personnel in Mangaluru on Friday, May 24.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Conservator of Forests Antony S. Mariappa at an interaction programme with media personnel in Mangaluru on Friday, May 24. | Photo Credit: H.S. MANJUNATH

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Conservator of Forests Anthony S. Mariappa on Friday, May 24, said over seven lakh trees were removed in the district while the department had arranged planting of nearly 12 lakh saplings during 2023-24 to offset the loss.

“It is a continuous process where the department arranges afforestation to compensate the loss of forest cover,” Mr. Mariappa said at the Meet-the-Press programme organised by Dakshina Kannada Union of Working Journalists with Mangaluru Press Club here.

For 2024-25, the department has set a target of planting of about 5 lakh saplings on its own and about 1.6 lakh saplings through farmers, Mr. Mariappa said.

The DCF said farmers would be encouraged to plant saplings under the Krushi Aranya Protsaha Yojane wherein ₹125 per sapling would be paid in three years, at the rate of ₹35, ₹40 and ₹50 per year if the plant survives. The incentive would be limited to 400 saplings per hectare, he added.

Mr. Mariappa said the department has taken a policy decision to clear Acacia trees in the forest areas and replace them with local fruit-yielding saplings. Acacia trees in over 900 ha of forest land were cleared in the last two years across Karnataka while fruit-yielding saplings were planted in 1,400 ha of land. Fruit-yielding trees were expected to reduce the transgression of wild animals into human habitations.

The department was experimenting with solar hanging or tentacle fencing, trenches, and concrete barricades to prevent man-animal conflict. While there were four human deaths due to elephant attacks in the district in 2022-23, there were none fortunately in 2023-24, the DCF said. Whenever there was crop loss by wild animals, immediate compensation was paid to farmers concerned, he added.

Regarding disaster mitigation, Mr. Mariappa said the department was clearing clogged water bodies or vented dams identified by the district administration to prevent flooding and related disasters. Also, trees identified as precariously located by different agencies, were being cleared.

Mangaluru Assistant Conservator of Forests P. Sridhar, IFS Probationary Officer Akshay Prakashkar, the Union President Srinivas Nayak Indaje and others were present.

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