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G Kishan Reddy writes to Telangana CM regarding Rs 610 cr of "unutilised CAMPA funds in last 3 years"
New Delhi: Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER G Kishan Reddy has written to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao regarding Telangana "not utilizing Rs 610 crores of the allocated amount from the CAMPA funds in the last 3 years".
In his letter dated April 16, the Union Minister highlighted that Telangana had not spent the amount as per their own Annual Plan of Operations (APO) for afforestation under the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Fund G Kishan Reddy in his letter highlighted that the conservation of nature is an inherent part of India's civilisational ethos and culture and forests provide habitats for many types of wildlife, and medicinal herbs, and also provide livelihood opportunities for tribal communities.
"Keeping all this in mind, the Union Government has created a comprehensive strategy to increase the forest area lost due to various development programs across the country and the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has been set up to restore the lost forest area in the respective areas by increasing the trees," he added
The Union Minister further stated that the Government of India released Rs. 3,110 crores of funds in the year 2019-20 under CAMPA. These funds were to be utilized in accordance with the Annual Plan of Operations (APO) of the Telangana Government as approved by the Central Government.
The Minister in his letter said that in the last 3 years from 2019-20 to 2021-22, the Government of Telangana was not able to fully utilize the funds in accordance with its own approved annual plans.
G Kishan Reddy said that approximately Rs. 610 crore was unutilised by the Government of Telangana and due to the inability to fully utilize the funds provided by the Government of India under the CAMPA Fund for afforestation, there is an impact on the habitats of various flora and fauna.
The Union Minister also highlighted that the state government was not releasing the state share in various Centrally Sponsored Schemes related to wildlife conservation. The recent report by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) regarding the number of tigers in the country makes it clear that Telangana was one of the few states where the Tiger population decreased and immediate conservation measures need to be taken.
"Apart from afforestation, the Union government also releases funds from time to time under various central government-sponsored schemes for forest conservation, wildlife conservation, and maintenance of parks and zoos. So far in the last few years, about Rs. 30 crore funds have been released. Many reports make it clear that the state government is neglecting to utilize these funds properly" he said in a letter to CM Telangana.
Union Minister further said that there is a serious delay in releasing funds of Rs 2.20 crore which the state government is supposed to release as its share under Project Tiger.
"The recent report by NTCA had brought to light that Tigers were locally extirpated from Kawal tiger reserve and Chennur of Telangana and the NTCA report further stated that if management activities like prey augmentation, habitat restoration, and protection are undertaken with serious efforts, tiger reserves and protected areas in the states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, still hold potential for further recovery of tiger populations," he said.
G Kishan Reddy requested the Telangana Chief Minister to take the initiative towards these matters and take appropriate measures to restore the lost forest area in the state by making full use of the funds released by the central government under the CAMPA fund, and promptly release the funds to be released by the state government as its share for the various central government sponsored schemes related to wildlife conservation. (ANI)