Forest & Environment dept incurs Rs 537 cr loss in Fani

As per estimation of the state Forest & Environment department, the total loss of the department including loss of tree cover and infrastructure will be around Rs 537.8 crore

Bhubaneswar: Tree cover worth Rs 420 crore was damaged in cyclone Fani, intimated Information and Public Relations department today in a media briefing. The cyclone not only uprooted lakhs of trees but it also damaged lakhs of saplings.

As per the information by the department, around 9 lakh trees worth Rs 270 crore were uprooted in forest and sanctuary areas. Similarly 5 lakh trees worth Rs 150 crore were uprooted outside forest and sanctuary area. Forest officials said that more than 8 lakh saplings worth Rs 39.5 crore were also destroyed in the cyclone.

The Balukhand sanctuary in Puri district is the worst victim of the cyclone while lakhs of trees were also damaged along Bhubaneswar-Puri highway. Besides, lakhs of trees were uprooted both, in the urban and rural areas in the districts of Khordha, Cuttack and Puri.

As per estimation of the state Forest and Environment department, the total loss of the department including loss of tree cover and infrastructure will be around Rs 537.8 crore. The loss includes damage of nurseries, VHF towers and infrastructure of Eco Tourism.

“ We have also started plant restoration programme in various cyclone affected districts. We are also planning to replant uprooted trees. Concerned Divisional Forest Offices will be asked to start massive plantation drives to bring back the green cover,” said a forest official.

Nandankanan zoo, one of the major tourist attractions in Bhubaneswar, also suffered heavy loss to the tune of crores in the cyclone. The zoo is closed since May 2. Though there was no casualty of captive animals in the zoo so far, zoo officials said that thousands of tress have been either uprooted or damaged in the zoo premises and at the nearby Botanical Garden. However, forest department officials said that the restoration process has been expedited and the zoo will be opened on May 21.

Also Read: Cyclone Fani: Odisha CM Launches “Rebuild Odisha” Portal

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