Mangaluru: The afforestation programme of the Forests department has crossed target this year in Mangaluru forest circle with an area of 4,204.23 hectares being covered so far, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Vinay Luthra said Friday.
Addressing reporters here, he said the Mangaluru circle, comprising Dakshina Kannada, Udupi districts and parts of Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga districts, had set a target of 4,082.46 hectares to be afforested during the year. The department had succeeded in crossing the target in November itself.
The Mangaluru forest circle has a total geographical area of 8,64,563 hectares with 2,87,641.19 hectares of notified forest area. Revenue records had already been updated for 98 percent of the total notified forest area, he said.
Luthra said 8,967.77 hectares of plantation of the previous years in the circle were also being maintained.
A total of 4,508 lakh seedlings had been distributed to public and institutions at subsidised rates. A sum of Rs 55.57 lakh was disbursed to the public involved in planting trees under the 'Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojana' in the last four years, he added.
The department had provided compensation amounting to Rs 12.40 lakh to 146 farmers whose crops were destroyed by wild animals this year.
He said 527 out of 1,380 families residing in the Kudremukh National Park, which was under the jurisdiction of Mangaluru circle, had applied for voluntary rehabilitation. Of this, 164 families had already been rehabilitated giving them compensation worth Rs 5,970.56 lakh by recovering 262.4 hectares of forest land.
The compensation cases of remaining families were being processed, he added.
Forest conservation officer Sanjay Bijoor, who was also present, said 137 'Vanamahotsava' programmes were conducted this year in the Mangaluru circle. The department had plans to establish a medicinal garden at Padumale near here by developing 9.15 acre of land at a cost of Rs 70 lakh, he said.