Encroachments have been reported over 13% of forest land in Assam; 2% of forest land in Delhi and 1% of such land in Andhra Pradesh, the Union atmosphere ministry knowledgeable the Lok Sabha on Monday.

In response to a query by Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) MP Sanganna Amarappa on the extent of encroachment of forest land by personal entities, together with industries, hospitals and academic establishments, over the past three years, State-wise and year-wise, Union atmosphere minister Bhupender Yadav shared particulars shared by state governments.

“The info of encroachment on forest land by personal entities together with industries, hospitals and academic establishments, are usually not maintained on the degree of this Ministry. As per the knowledge acquired from States/UTs, the small print of the forest space beneath encroachment within the nation are given in Annexure I…” Yadav stated in his response.

In response to the Annexure he was referring to, encroachments have been reported throughout giant areas of a number of states — Assam with 377,532.63 hectares (ha); Andhra Pradesh with 34,358.33 ha; Delhi 384.38 ha; Madhya Pradesh 54,173.28 ha; Odisha 33,154.19 ha; Arunachal Pradesh 53,450.43 ha, amongst others.

In response to the Forest Survey of India, the entire forest land in Assam in 2,832,700 ha whereas Delhi’s whole forest land is nineteen,544 ha.

“Safety and administration of forests is primarily the duty of involved State/UT. The actions to take away encroachment are taken as per the provisions beneath numerous Acts equivalent to Indian Forest Act, 1927; Wildlife (Safety) Act, 1972; Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, numerous Guidelines made beneath these Acts and State particular Acts and Guidelines…” Yadav’s response states.

“This Ministry doesn’t collate knowledge of encroachment on forest land. Nevertheless, the Ministry has written to State Governments/UT Administrations to take away encroachment as per the present Acts/Guidelines and to make sure that no additional encroachment takes place. With a purpose to forestall and management encroachments, the States and UTs additionally take numerous measures equivalent to demarcation and digitization of forest boundaries, strengthening infrastructure for forest safety, involving fringe space forest communities by means of Joint Forest Administration Committees, Eco Growth Committees and so on,” Yadav acknowledged.

The knowledge shared by him reveals that funds launched by the Centre for built-in improvement of wildlife habitats have lowered from 124.48 crore in 2019-20 to 87.55 crore in 2021-22.

Funds for the forest hearth prevention and administration scheme have additionally lowered from 46.40 crore in 2019-20 to 34.25 crore in 2021-22, in accordance with the ministry knowledge.

“It’s the state’s statutory obligation to maintain forests encroachment free. We’ve given them instructions to take away encroachments a number of occasions,” stated a senior atmosphere ministry official who didn’t wish to be named.

“For the reason that duty of the implementation of the forest conservation act rests with the Centre, it is usually the responsibility of the Central authorities to provoke motion in opposition to state governments who’re permitting use of forest land for non-forest functions with out prior approval of Central authorities. Encroachment of forest land is violation of part 2 of the FC Act so it’s fully unlawful, and within the occasion that encroachment in persevering with, the Central authorities is duty-bound to file complaints earlier than respective magistrates for violation of FC Act and motion in opposition to principal conservator of forests for wilful violation,” stated environmental lawyer Ritwick Dutta.

In response to a different query in Lok Sabha by BJP MP Pradyot Bordoloi on particulars of the funds allotted and utilised beneath the Nationwide Clear Air Programme (NCAP) for FY 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-2022 respectively, State/UT-wise, the atmosphere ministry’s response reveals solely half of the funds disbursed by Centre since 2019-20 previously three years have been utilised for air air pollution management. Of the 472.06 crore launched, 117 cities have utilised solely 227.61 crore to date.

The Nationwide Clear Air Programme (NCAP), which was launched by MoEFCC in January 2019, is a long-term, time-bound, nationwide degree technique for prevention, management and abatement of air air pollution. Beneath NCAP, it has been envisaged to attain targets of 20%-30 % discount in Particulate Matter focus by 2024 throughout the nation.

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