The Centre sanctioned more than Rs 300 crore for Rajasthan and Telangana to undertake activities related to afforestation and biodiversity. “The Centre sanctioned Rs 164 crore for Rajasthan and Rs 156 crore for Telangana, following a meeting on Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) with the two states,” an official statement said. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the money has been sanctioned for afforestation, relocation and other biodiversity works in the two states. The Minister said that according to court’s guidelines, only 10 per cent of the funds can be released this year. Javadekar expressed the hope that the Compensatory Afforestation Bill (CAF) will be passed in the Monsoon session, making available more money for afforestation and related activities. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) was cleared by the Lok Sabha in May 2016. The CAMPA corpus currently stands around Rs 42,000 crore. The CAF Bill once passed will pave the way for expeditious utilisation of funds realised for forest land diverted to non-forest purposes in transparent manner. The Bill will also ensure utilisation of accumulated unspent funds already available with CAMPA. Rajasthan Environment Minister Rajkumar Rinwa and Telangana Environment Minister Jogu Ramanna led the delegation from their states during today’s meeting.
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