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Tourism
State to promote forest expansion on private lands
15-03-2013

BHOPAL: The State Government will implement a new scheme for forest expansion to promote plantation on private lands.

With a view to accelerating pace of providing forest land rights documents to eligible tribal on 27000 hectare, it has been decided to keep sub-divisional officers working as forest settlement officers free from other duties.

These decisions were taken at a meeting of departmental advisory committee chaired by Forest Minister Sartaj Singh here on Thursday. Minister of State for Forests Jaisingh Marawi, MLA-Members of the committee including Alkesh Arya, Dashrath Singh Lodhi, Narayan Prajapati, Nagendra Singh, Prem Narayan Thakur, Principal Secretary Forests BP Singh and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests RS Negi were present on the occasion.

At the meeting, detailed discussions were held on Forest Expansion Scheme. Objectives of the scheme include making profitable growing of trees for commercial purpose, replenishment of forest produce, ensuring groundwater preservation, reducing pressure on government forests and making available source of income through trees in case of loss to agricultural crops. This will also increase forest density in the state.

Generally, preparation of a sapling costs Rs. 6 to 8. But plants will be provided to farmers at a price of Rs. 2 and root-shoot at Rs. 0.50. Besides, a fixed amount will also be given to farmers to nurture the plant for three years.

Vandoot

For assisting farmers, people living near villages will be trained and registered as Vandoot. These Vandoots will get saplings at reduced rates from nurseries, help farmers plant them and also ensure their nurturing. Vandoots will be provided incentive money by the Forest Department, which will be deposited in their bank accounts for Research & Extension Circle.

Estimated profit from trees

Farmers are expected to earn Rs. 35,000 in 15 years from teak plantation, Rs. 150 in 4 years from bamboo-rafter, Rs. 20,000 from Khamer in 12 years, Rs. 5000 from eucalyptus in 10 years and Rs. 2000 from other plantations.

Besides, discussions were held on eco-tourism, cultivation of medicinal plants, Public Forestry, distribution of compensation against loss caused by wild animals, tanks in forest villages, construction of roads, making available livelihood sources to members of Joint Forest Committees etc. Senior officers of the Forest Department were present at the meeting.