In a bid to increase forest cover in the state and achieve the target of getting 33 per cent land under forests,the state government has announced that 100 crore trees would be planted across the state in the next one-and-a-half years. At present,Maharashtra has 20.12 per cent of its land under forests,which is 12.88 per cent less than the forest ministrys target of bringing 33 per cent of land across India under forests.
Replying to a query raised in the legislative council meeting,Minister of State for Forests Bhaskar Jadhav said the Tree Credit Policy was still under consideration and a decision has not been taken yet. As per the policy,industries and individuals will be given financial returns through carbon credits for taking up tree plantation on their private premises.
Jadhav said the objective was to plant local species,mainly fruiting plants such as mango,jackfruit,amla,neem,sitafal,and jujube (bor) trees. We will ensure that trees that are suited in a particular climate and terrain are planted , he said.
He said the survey that identified 42,000 hectares of private land that had to be brought under forest land was taken up again,after which it was found that 18,000 hectares of private land has to be brought under forest land. As per the earlier survey,many landowners approached the SC as they were losing their right to cultivate. Those whose land was taken under the previous survey will be given back their land within three months, Jadhav said.