Aizawl: Mizoram is rich in biodiversity and the total forest cover is 18,186 sq km, which is 86.27% of the state’s geographical area, state environment, forest and climate change minister TJ Lalnuntluanga said, quoting Forest Survey of India data.
Replying to a question during assembly session in Aizawl on Friday, Lalnuntluanga said that the state covers an area of 21,081 sq km, constituting 0.64% of geographical area of the country. He said that as per the Forest Survey of India, which is conducted after every two years, the percentage of forest cover or densely forest area is decreasing gradually.
In terms of forest canopy density classes, the state has 131 sq km under very dense forest, 5,861 sq km under moderately dense forest and 12,194 sq km under open forest.
The minister also informed the assembly that bamboo plantation is currently being undertaken in 38,601 hectare of lands in 458 locations within the jurisdiction of 11 forest divisions and three autonomous district councils. He said that the government did not harvest bamboo from such plantations except from Sakawrhmuitual bamboo plantation near Aizawl.
He added that a meagre amount of Rs 24,000 revenue has been collected from the bamboo plantation.
Lalnuntluanga also said that the state government would look into bamboo research centre at Aizawl’s Bethlehem locality.
Intervening in the discussion, chief minister Zoramthanga said the state government is taking massive effort to cultivate as much bamboo as possible under the national bamboo mission. He said that bamboo plantation was one of the flagship programmes of the state government.
Zoramthanga said that the state government focus on plantation of two selected bamboo sapling and asked a company to send at least 10 lakh saplings in a month. He expressed hope that bamboo plantation will generate employment opportunities for many people.