Recently Agartala Smart City adopts ‘one for ten’ trees compensatory afforestation drive to minimise ecological loss.
Smart City Mission and ecology in Agartala:
The road which links the new International Terminal Building with Agartala city is being expanded into a four-lane road.
Around 1,000 trees will be planted and raised till the plants attain adulthood on both sides of the proposed four-lane road.
Under the Asian Development Bank-funded project that will convert all the city roads into smart roads, an initiative has been taken to plant ten trees for one tree extracted.
Under some specific projects trees, are being uprooted for up-gradation of the existing roads.
However, there are efforts being made to not harm the ecological balance and hence some adult trees have relocated alive under the technical guidance of the Tripura Forest Department.
To ensure minimum loss to the ecology, only those trees that are preventing the construction of underground draining are being extracted.
A conscious effort is being made to avoid uprooting old trees coming in the way of footpaths.
What is Compensatory Afforestation?
The simple principle at work here is that since forests are an important natural resource and render a variety of ecological services, they must not be destroyed.
However, because of developmental or industrial requirements, forests are routinely cut, or, as it is said in official language, “diverted for non-forest purposes”.
In such cases, the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 requires that non-forest land, equal to the size of the forest being “diverted”, is afforested.
But since afforested land does not become a forest overnight, there is still a loss of the goods and services that the diverted forest would have provided in the interim period.
So in short, Compensatory afforestation is defined as afforestation done in lieu of the diversion of forest land for non-forest use.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA):
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2009 issued orders that there will be a Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) as National Advisory Council under the chairmanship of the Union Minister of Environment & Forests for monitoring, technical assistance and evaluation of compensatory afforestation activities.
Objectives of CAMPA:
CAMPA are meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.
National CAMPA Advisory Council has been established with the following mandate:
Lay down broad guidelines for State CAMPA.
Facilitate scientific, technological and other assistance that may be required by State CAMPA.
Make recommendations to State CAMPA based on a review of their plans and programmes.
Provide a mechanism to State CAMPA to resolve issues of an inter-state or Centre-State character.