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With 77,700 sq-km forest cover Madhya Pradesh still on top in India

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh is still on the top in the country with a total 77,700 square kilometre forest cover, whereas, the forest cover in the country has decreased by 367 square kilometre.

The India State of Forest Report 2011 showed that the status of Madhya Pradesh has remained unchanged. According to the report the forest cover of Arunachal Pradesh is 67,410 square kilometres, while Chhattisgarh has 55,674 square kilometres, Maharashtra 50,646 square kilometre and Orissa 48,903 square kilometre forest cover.

Meanwhile, forest minister Sartaj Singh has directed officers to increase density of forest cover by planting maximum saplings in moderately dense areas and further strengthening forest protection arrangements.

Out of total forest cover in the state, there are extremely dense forests in 6,640 square kilometre and 34,986 square kilometre dense forests, whose density needs to be increased. Moderately dense forest area is spread over 36,074 square kilometres while open area is 16,989 square kilometres. Seven per cent of the total forest cover is extremely dense, 36 per cent dense, 39 per cent moderately dense and 18 per cent open area.

According to India State of Forest Report-2011, forest cover has decreased in 14 states including Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh while it has increased in Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Jammu-Kashmir, Karnataka and Andaman-Nicobar. Only three states have maintained their forest cover including Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Sikkim.