Siddipet: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Wednesday instructed the District Collectors to prepare an action plan for revival of forests in the forestlands across the State and immediately implement the plan.
“If social forestry helps in bringing down temperatures in residential areas, forest development would bring in a change in the atmosphere and help bring in more rains and improve biodiversity,” the Chief Minister said.
Chandrashekhar Rao, who took Ministers, District Collectors and law-makers on a tour of afforestation taken up in Gajwel Assembly constituency, personally demonstrated the forest revival programme being implemented at Singayapalli, Nentur and Komati Banda. “At the time of formation of the State, the entire forest area in Gajwel which I represent was without trees and was an arid patch, akin to a desert. A comprehensive plan was chalked out to revive forests in the forestlands, and its implementation began three years ago. The plan has begun yielding results now,” he said, adding that the entire area was flush with greenery which also brought about an increase in rainfall.
The Chief Minister said he had ensured plantation of 27 different types of fruit-bearing trees along with other species which has now “virtually become a food court for monkeys.” He urged the district collectors to take inspiration from the ‘Gajwel’ model and implement it in all the districts for revival of forests. While the State has 66.48 lakh hectare of forest land, the forest cover, at 23.4 per cent, was not proportionate, he pointed out.
Explaining the forest revival programme implemented in Gajwel forestlands, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests R Shobha and Additional PCCF R M Dobrial said the department used rootstocks in the forests that facilitated growth of trees in a natural way. “Deep trenches were dug around the forest area for protection. This also prevented animals from going out of the forest area and other animals coming into the forests. The water in the trenches maintain moisture levels in atmosphere that help in plant growth,” they said, adding that Nickernuts (Gacchakayi) plants were planted along the trenches for additional protection.
With the introduction of 27 varieties of fruit-bearing trees in the forest areas, the monkeys had returned to their natural habitat from villages and towns, the senior Forest officials said, and pointed out to the district collectors that revival of forests bring down temperatures, increase rainfall and reduce pollution levels, besides improving biodiversity. They said there was enough funds under CAMPA programme which can be utilised for afforestation.
The Chief Minister said Ministers, MLAs and District Collectors should take up the responsibility of not only reviving forests but also ensure their protection.
After participating in the forest revival programme, the District Collectors visited the Mission Bhagiratha plant at Komati Banda. The Chief Minister had lunch with the District Collectors, and later, held a meeting to discuss implementation of the new Panchayat Raj and Municipalities Acts and the drafting of the new Revenue Act. He said that the government’s aim was to have clean and green villages and towns, and accordingly measures should be taken during the 60-day Action Plan in the State.
Chandrashekhar Rao said the government was preparing the new Revenue Act, which will ensure corruption-free and transparent administration that would benefit farmers and the people in general.
Ministers A Indrakaran Reddy, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Etela Rajender, Jagadish Reddy, T Srinivas Yadav, Vemula Prashanth Reddy, Srinivas Goud, Koppula Eswar, Niranjan Reddy, Malla Reddy, State Planning Board Vice Chairman B Vinod Kumar, MP J Santosh Kumar, Government’s Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, MLCs Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, Seri Subhash Reddy, CMO Principal Secretary S Narsing Rao and others participated.