Afforestation norms: Irregularities call for remedial action - The Tribune India

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Afforestation norms

Irregularities call for remedial action

Afforestation norms

Photo for representation. File photo



THE revelations regarding the mismanagement of afforestation efforts in Haryana merit corrective action. G Raman, retired CEO of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), has exposed irregularities in the execution of projects. Despite certification from divisional forest officers claiming compliance with the CAMPA Act, it is alleged that afforestation has been carried out on unapproved sites, in flagrant disregard if norms. The misallocation of sites is symptomatic of the problems plaguing the state’s forest management. The failure to secure ex post facto approval for site changes has exacerbated the situation. The proposed monitoring and evaluation of activities under CAMPA from 2021-22 to 2023-24 by a special team is a crucial step towards addressing the shortcomings and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Notably, the Supreme Court’s intervention last year regarding the NHAI’s work on the Gurugram-Pataudi-Rewari highway presented both challenges and opportunities for environmental conservation. While permitting the national highways authority to resume the project — which was stalled over inadequate compensatory afforestation — the court upheld the NGT’s order to the NHAI to find suitable sites for planting 20,000 trees to make up for the axed ones. This directive underscores the importance of mitigating ecological damage caused by infrastructure development. The court’s order to the Haryana Government to identify land banks for plantation drives represents a concerted push to restore the green cover for the sake of environmental sustainability.

However, concerns persist over the reluctance to fix accountability for violation of compensatory afforestation rules. Enhanced oversight and strict enforcement of the regulatory norms are essential to rebuild public trust and safeguard the ecological balance of the region.


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