Forest cover in India down by 367 sq km: Environment Ministry

Forest cover in India down by 367 sq km: Environment Ministry
New Delhi India's forest cover is down by 367 sq km and a startling 182 sq km of that was lost to Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh chopping through forests in Warangal and Khammam, a new government survey shows.

Of the total decrease of 367 sq km of forest area, Andhra Pradesh contributed a giant chunk of 281 sq km of forest cover lost - eucalyptus harvesting adding to the deforestation. India, says the forest survey, has 23.81 per cent of its land area, a total 78.29 million hectares, covered by forest. In the last two years, 15 states have shown a combined increase in forest area by 500 sq km, Punjab leading that effort. But 12 other states, led by Andhra Pradesh, more than nullify that advantage by recording a combined 867 sq km decrease in forest cover.

The report - India State of Forest Report, 2011 - has been released by the Ministry of Environment & Forest.

Less than a week ago, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that the country's forest cover had increased by nearly five per cent between 1997 and 2007 and decreased only marginally since.
Story First Published: February 07, 2012 16:55 IST

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