Reports of LiDAR survey of water, fodder augmentation in forest areas of 10 states launched

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New Delhi, Jun 25 (PTI) Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday released detailed project reports of the light detection and ranging (LiDAR) based survey of forest areas in 10 states.

The technology was used to develop a three-dimensional digital elevation model and imagery for recommending different types of soil and water conservation structures, according to the ministry.

Javadekar on Twitter said for the first-time central government's funds have been used to survey forest areas of 26 states at a large scale.

The reports of 10 states - Assam, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura- were released at a virtual event, the ministry said.

'Today launched detailed project reports (DPRs) on LiDAR survey of water and fodder augmentation in forest areas of 10 states. For the first time, central funds have been used to survey forest areas of 26 states at such a large scale,” Javadekar tweeted.

The minister informed that the project, which was awarded to WAPCOS, a public sector unit under the jal shakti ministry, is a first of its kind and a unique experiment using LiDAR technology.

This will help increase water and fodder in jungles areas, and thereby, reducing human-animal conflict, help in groundwater recharge and help local communities, Javadekar said.

He asked state forest departments to use Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds towards implementation of these projects in the right earnest and in accordance with the 'ridge-to-valley' approach of watershed management.

'WAPCOS has prepared these DPR's using LiDAR technology in which the 3-D (three dimensional) DEM (Digital Elevation Model), imagery and layers of project areas are used for recommending different types of soil and water conservation structures such as anicut, gabion, gully plug, mini percolation tank, percolation tank, field bund, sunken pond and farm pond etc,' the ministry said.

It said that these structures will help in catching rainwater and prevent stream run off, which will help in recharging of ground water.

WAPCOS, with the participation of state forest departments, has identified one major ridge inside a forest block in these states with an average area of 10,000 hectares for preparation of the DPRs, the ministry said.

These will be used for planning and identifying locations and structures for construction of appropriate and feasible micro soil and water conservation structures consistent with site specific geography, topography and soil characteristics, it said.

“States/UTs identified one major ridge inside a forest block with the criteria that area selected should have average rainfall of the state, and the area requires assisted natural generation which means the density of forests should be less than 0.4 or below, but should have reasonable potential to regenerate with the ANR (advancing assisted natural regeneration) interventions,” it said.

The ministry informed that the project was awarded to WAPCOS in July last year at a cost of Rs 18.38 crore for implementation in 26 states over 2,61,897 hectare.

The DPRs for the remaining 16 states will also be released shortly, it said. PTI AG ANB ANB

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