'India's green cover up by 13,000 sq km in five years'

New Delhi


Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday informed the Parliament that India is among the world's two-three countries where green cover has increased and it has grown by 13,000 square km in last five years.

"There is good news that the tree covers both inside and outside the forest has increased 13,000 square km in the last five years. India is among two-three countries in the world where the green cover has increased," Javadekar told the Lok Sabha.

He mentioned that trees are removed for development at some specific places but the government focuses on plantation of more trees. "Ten trees are planted and they grow when one tree is removed. This is the operating system to increase the green cover."

To compensate the loss of forest area and to maintain the sustainability, the Minister said the government has come up with a well-defined Act, known as CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority).

According to the Act's provision, a company diverting forest land must provide alternative land to take up compensatory afforestation, he said.

"For afforestation, the company should pay to plant new trees in the alternative land provided to the state. The loss of forest ecosystem must also be compensated by paying for net present value (NPV)," he said.IANS