‘Only 9 % of area under forest cover’
Expressing concern over forest area decreasing by the day, DFO Mahesh Kumar said that only 9 % of the total area of the district is under forest coverage, whereas it was expected to be a minimum of 33 %.
Speaking at a mega afforestation drive organised to mark the World Environment Day programme by the district administration, zilla panchayat and the District Legal Services Authority on the premises of the CEDOK at the Belur Industrial Area here on Wednesday, he said that the forest cover is shrinking and this should be seen as an alarm to society. Surface land cannot be increased but there is an opportunity to increase forest land. Deforestation and a modern lifestyle have led to climate change, scanty rainfall and global warming, with 65 lakh people dying across the world every day, he said.
Earlier, inaugurating the programme, Principal District and Sessions Judge Eshappa Bhute said that a few years ago, Dharwad used to get rainfall for over four months. But, rain days have come down drastically. Greediness is the root cause of ecological imbalance. Afforestation drives should be taken up on a war-footing and people should voluntarily involve themselves in this movement. All vacant places in and around houses should be used to grow trees, he added.
Zilla Panchayat CEO B.C. Satish said that the administration has embarked upon a mega plan of planting five lakh trees in the district starting from Wednesday. This apart, all government staff will either walk or cycle on Mondays to set an example for society. To recharge groundwater, the ZP has decided to construct 307 check-dams. On June 11, the district will be celebrating the Swatch Meva Jayate programme under which an additional three lakh trees will be planted in rural areas, he added.
Senior Judge R.S. Chinnannavar, Additional Deputy Commissioner Suresh Itnal, Social Forestry Officer E.S. D’Souza, Basavaraj Gotur and others were present.
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