On March 13, a bill to increase the country's green cover received the union cabinet's approval. Rs 6,000 crore collected by the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (campa), a body appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on the Supreme Court's directions, will finally be used if the bill receives the parliament's approval. campa was mandated by a 2002 Supreme Court judgement to collect compensation money from projects that divert forestland for non-forest use. But it has remained an ad hoc body.
The details of the bill are not known. But according to sources in the union government, it calls for the formation of a general body chaired by the minister of state for environment and forests and an implementing body headed by the director general (forests). A committee of independent professionals will oversee the work of the two bodies.The money collected so far will be placed in a public fund and given back to the states concerned. The interest from the Rs 6,000 crore would be divided between states who have not paid any money to campa so far. The states will use this money for a new project of the United Progressive Alliance government, the Green India Programme.
|The roots of imbroglio|
Supreme Court directs development projects that use forests pay the Net Present Value (NPV) for the intangible services provided by forests. Ad hoc NPV varies between Rs 5.8 and Rs 9.2 lakh per hectare. The apex court directs the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to constitute a central body to manage the fund.
The notification to set up the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) issued. But not implemented.
Supreme Court creates an ad hoc CAMPA in May 2006. In August that year, the apex court asked the environment ministry about the schemes before CAMPA for approval so that funds could be released. But the ministry did not provide details of any scheme.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.