बुधवार, 8 फ़रवरी 2012
India recorded a net loss of 367 sq km of forests between 2009 and 2011 with Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh alone losing 182 sq km of green cover in the period, the latest 'state of forest' report has found. In all, AP lost 281 sq km of forests in two years. The report, prepared biennially by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), the Dehradun-based wing of the environment and forests ministry, was released on Tuesday.Environment secretary T Chatterjee attributed the loss to Left-wing extremists chopping off forests illegally, and the paper pulp industry harvesting old eucalyptus plantations in Khammam. He claimed that the forests in Khammam had been cleared in less than six months with plantations being cut and the extremists egging people on to cut the forests as well. The report, though, noted that the loss of forest cover was largely due to the felling of eucalyptus plantations.But officials were unable to explain how vast swathes of forests could disappear from one district in just six months. Khammam had also recorded a 56% loss of forests between 2007 and 2009 as per the ministry's reports. This reduction too had been apportioned to the cutting of plantations by the government in 2009.