“The permission for tree felling is accorded by the respective state governments/union territory administrations under the provisions of various Acts, rules, guidelines and directions of courts. However, during 2020-21, proposals involving 30,97,721 trees have been accorded prior approval under the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 by the ministry,” Yadav said in his written reply.
Bharatiya Janata Party member Kirit Premjibhai Solanki questioned the number of trees cut across the country for infrastructural projects. Yadav added that Rs 359 crore was spent on compensatory afforestation in 2020-21.
Yadav said that more than 36 million seedlings were planted as part of the compensatory afforestation during that year at the cost of Rs 358.87 crore. Yadav said not a single tree was cut for developmental projects in Delhi during 2020-21.
He added over 53,000 seedlings were planted under the compensatory afforestation scheme at the cost of Rs 97 lakh in the city.
Maximum trees were cut down in Madhya Pradesh (16,40,532), followed by Uttar Pradesh (3,11,998) and Odisha (2,23,375). The maximum money for afforestation was spent in Gujarat ( Rs 52 crore), followed by Uttarakhand ( Rs 48.2 crore) and Haryana ( Rs 45 crore).
in Maharashtra in the last four years and over 48,000 complaints have been lodged in this regard in various parts of the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray informed the state legislative council.
The chief minister was responding to a starred question raised by Shiv Sena legislator Maneesha Kayande.
In a written reply, Thackeray said, “As many as 2,84,171 trees were illegally chopped down in the last four years. The value is estimated to be Rs 21.95 crore. At least 48,893 criminal cases have been filed during this period, of which 1,435 are registered as serious offences.
In the four-year period, 991 vehicles were allegedly used for illegal felling and transportation of trees, he said. Thackeray holds charge of the forest department after his cabinet colleague Sanjay Rathod resigned from the post in March 2021.