Mangalore, June 1, 2011: Forest Minister C. H. Vijayashankar said that the forest ministry will launch Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojane (Agriculture Forest Encouragement Scheme) in a bid to maintain ecosystem and increase forest area. As per this scheme, saplings will be distributed among farmers and financial assistance will be provided for the maintenance of these saplings for a period of 3 years. The minister was addressing reporters at Gundya on Tuesday.
Further speaking about the scheme, he said that the saplings will be distributed among farmers after they have applied through their respective GPs, ZPs, TPs, or range forest offices. A government notification will be issued within 8 days. Saplings will be provided as per land owned by farmers, owing to which farmers need to produce their RTCs.
He said that the government will provide Rs. 10 as maintenance charges for each plant based on the number of plants that survive after a year of planting them. The government will raise the charges to Rs. 15 per plant if they continue to survive into the following year and to Rs. 20 if they survive for 3 years at a stretch. He added that the forest ministry will sign an agreement with the agriculture ministry, agriculture research stations, and horticulture universities to supply healthy saplings to farmers.
The scheme will benefit not only farmers, but also school children who will receive saplings and will be asked to name it and learn its various features and how to take proper care of it. He also said that the forest department will provide free saplings to anybody who would like to grown trees in their backyard.
He also said that the tanks in the district headquarters will be developed along the model of Daal Sarovar and Mysore Karanji, adding that the Kavoor Tank close to Mangalore will soon be developed.
He further said that tree parks will be developed in each district, adding that the forest department has already identified land in Pilikula for a tree park. Speaking about the Devara Vana project, he said that devara vanas will be developed in all districts, a project that will be launched all over Karnataka from June 20 to July 20. He also informed that growing Eucalyptus trees has been banned in Karnataka and a notification has already been issued. A partial ban will also be placed on acacia.
Regarding tourism development, he said that entry fees will be imposed on anybody wishing to visit tourist spots in a bid to protect them from misuse. Since the number of tourists visiting important places is on the decline, concerned officials will convene a meeting to discuss the issue and find solutions to the problem.