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India's jungle cover decreases: Report

Posted on Dec 19, 07:51AM | UNI

The country's forest cover has decreased by 367 sq km whereas it has remained unchanged in Madhya Pradesh, says the India State of Forest Report 2011.

This state still tops with 77,700 sq km forest cover followed by Arunachal Pradesh 67,410 sq km; Chhattisgarh 55,674 sq km; Maharashtra 50,646 sq km and Odisha 48,903 sq km, an official release said.

Of the total jungle cover in Madhya Pradesh, there are extremely dense forests over 6,640 sq km and dense forests over 34,986 sq km.

Moderately dense forest area is spread over 36,074 sq km while open area is 16,989 sq km. Seven per cent of the total forest cover is extremely dense, 36 per cent dense, 39 per cent moderately dense and 18 per cent open area.

Jungle cover has decreased in Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Asom, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh while it has increased in Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Andaman and Nicobar. Only three states have maintained their forest cover -- Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Sikkim.

Forest Minister Sartaj Singh has directed officials to enhance density of jungle cover by planting maximum saplings in moderately dense areas and further strengthening forest protection arrangements.