Bhubaneswar,20/6 ( Odisha Samachar/Abhisek Mohanty) : Odisha Forest Sector Development Project (OFSDP) being implemented through Odisha Forestry Sector Development Society has reached last year of its implementation during 2014-15. The achievements in many key components of the projects have exceeded the target. This has come to light in the High Power Committee held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra in the secretariat conference hall today wherein Principal Secretary Forest & Environment Raj Kumar Sharma outlined the issues for discussion and Project Director OFSDS Vinod Kumar presented the details for review. Reviewing the progress Chief Secretary has directed to take up satellite and remote sensing monitoring of the forest development activities in the State. He has also directed to prepare Forest Imagery of the State through GIS applications.
Review reveal that the Project is being implemented in the State with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from 2006-07. Initially the project was for seven years up to 2012-13. Considering the than progress and necessity for consolidation, the project was extended up to 2014-15. The project aims at restoration of degraded forests and improving livelihood options of the villagers by sustainable forest management in JFM (Joint Forest Management) mode.
Available data shows as of now 2370 VSS have been roped in for execution of major interventions in JFM mode in 11 Forest Divisions and 56 EDCs in 3 Wild Life Divisions. Up to 2013-14 a total of 2, 10,405 hects of degraded forests in 11 divisions have been restored against the project target of 1, 96,650 hects. Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) has been accomplished in 1, 55,045 hectors and Block Plantation in 40,943 hects against the targets of 1, 38,000 and 39,650 hects respectively. Coastal plantation has been raised in 2,920 hects against the target of 2,810 hects and mangroves have been grown in 2,769 hects against the target of 2,160 hects. Similarly, Farm Forestry has been done in 2,550 hects and NTFP under planting in ANR area has been developed over 629 hects. Ecotourism destinations have been developed in 7 locations against the project target of 5. The Project Director Vinod Kumar said that the density of forest has increased over 18% of open and moderate forest areas. In total an amount of Rs 802 crore has been budgeted for the project against which the utilization so far has been Rs. 694.49 crore. The annual Plan for 2014-15 has been approved for Rs.107 crore. Out of this the loan component of JICA is around Rs 589.77 crore.
With regard to capacity building and livelihood promotion 100% achievement has been done in revitalization of VSS and EDCs. Around 2426 such peoples’ committees have been empowered and made operational with livelihood activities. In addition to that around 7064 SHGs have been trained and engaged in income generating activities against the target of 4850. Vinod Kumar further said that new project proposal has already been sent to Government of India to scale up these activities in the entire State.
Chief Secretary has advised the OSFDC to strengthen Jagannath Vana Prakalpa scheme to grow and protect the species necessary for car festival. A senior forest officer said that the success in this project so far has been near about 75%. Sri Mohapatra has advised them to scale up survival rate and plant care measures and include new areas in the scheme.
Additional Chief Secretary Finance U.N. Behera, Principal Secretary Energy P.K. Jena, Principal Secretary Agriculture Rajesh Verma, Secretary Panchayati Raj D.K. Deoranjan Singh, Director Watershed Development Sujata Kartikeyan along with other senior officers from concerned departments participated in discussions.