India is the 7th largest country by area, in terms of forestland it has only 21.5% of total area left. With the growing demand of resources with the growing population leads to implied invitation of new construction projects like dams, industries, housing, etc. naturally doing so leads to diversion of forest land and for that the project development authority have to take the clearance from the state forest department working under the ministry of environment forest (MoEF). If clearance is given, the compensation for the lost forestland was charged from the holder whether public or private.
Due to certain discrepancies in the implementation of compensatory afforestation some NGOs approached the apex court for the relief. The apex court ordered on 10th July 2009 that there will be a compensatory afforestation fund management and planning authority, CAMPA as national advisory council and union minister for environment and forest will be its chairman, they are assigned with monitoring, technical assistance and evaluation of compensatory afforestation activities.
Moreover according to Supreme Court guidelines, in every state there is state CAMPA who will collect the fund at the state level and give it directly to the Adhoc CAMPA and then it will distribute it proportionately to the states.
The State CAMPA is assigned to utilize the funds collected for undertaking compensatory afforestation, wildlife protection and conservation, infrastructural development and other related activities.
As of January 2019, 54000 cr are collected by the government in the CAMPA fund, noticing this The Supreme Court in end of the month gives direction to transfer this to a new Authority created by the central government which is to be further utilized by both the central and the state governments for its green initiatives.
These are expected to be used to create forests which have been lost to development and industrialization. Bench Comprising of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta ordered the fund transfer at the request of the central government. Though most of these funds are collected under the aegis of the apex court, whatever government comes one after the other have to take the prior charge.
The court at first was unwilling to release these funds without a mechanism in place to ensure that they were properly utilised but changed its mind after the central government brought in a law in 2016 taking care of its concern. Hence, decided the funds will be transferred from the ad hoc created by the top court in 2009 to the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority.
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