Patna,(BiharTimes): Though thousands of trees have been cut in Bihar in the last few years in the name of road expansion, laying of rail tracks, urbanization and other factors there is a marginal increase in the forest cover in the state.
The present marginal increase of 0.3 per cent in state forest cover is a result of an increase of 32sqkm in moderately dense forests and 9sqkm in open forests. No change was observed in the category of very dense forests since 2007 as it stands at 231sqkm. Patna has 13sqkm of moderately dense forests and three sqkm of open forests.
The present forest cover accounts for 7.27 per cent of total geographical area of the state, which is much lower than the required forest cover.
According to Chief Conservator of Forests, Working Plan, Training and Extension, S S Chaudhary the Environment and Forests Department would soon launch Hariyali Mission under the agricultural roadmap of the state. Efforts would be made to increase the total forest cover in Bihar to 15 per cent by 2017.
Muzaffarpur witnessed rise of 21sqkm, Sitamarhi eight sqkm and West Champaran eight sqkm of forest land.
Notwithstanding the official claim of rise in forest cover in the state, environmentalists are concerned over the rampant deforestation in the name of urbanization. Only recently a large number of students, especially of Mt Carmel took to streets in protest against the decision to fell trees in Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park.
Trees in roads like Bir Chand Patel Marg in Patna have been felled in the name of road expansion when the road was already quite wide and traffic not at all heavy. Thousands of trees were felled due to rampant urban urbanization in the west of Patna and Bihta.
True tree plantation campaign had been taken up by the central and state government recently it would take years for those saplings to grow into trees.