A SHAKTI VAHINI RESEARCH INITIATIVE
Intensification of Forest Management Sachem has resulted in bridging the gap in developing forest infrastructure in States/UTs. Earlier known as Integrated Forest Protection Scheme, it is a centrally sponsored scheme of Ministry of Environment and Forest which gives financial assistance to States/Union Territories to take up various activities essential for protection of existing forests. The financial assistance given to the State Forest Departments is used to strengthen their forest protection machinery by way of infrastructure development , use of modern technology, improved mobility by way of deployment of new field vehicles, improved communication and providing arms ammunition to the frontline forestry force. The scheme also provides financial assistance for developing infrastructure for forest fire control and management; survey, demarcation and preparation of Working Plans. The Scheme was formulated by merger of the two Schemes( Forest Fire Control Management and Infrastructure Development for North Eastern Sector) in all States and Union Territories during the Xth Plan. It was last revised during 2009 to broaden its objectives by adding four new components.
The funding pattern is on cost sharing. The scheme is a grants-in-aid based on 90:10 (Central: State) Funding pattern in respect of all the North Eastern States including Sikkim and special category states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and 75:25 (Central: State) funding pattern for all other States/UTs.
Main Components of the Scheme are forest fire control and management, strengthening of infrastructure, survey and demarcation/working plan preparation, protection and conservation of sacred groves, conservation and restoration of unique vegetation and ecosystems, control and eradication of forest invasive species and preparedness for meeting challenges of Bamboo Flowering and Improving Management of Bamboo Forests.
Many interventions are carried out under this scheme which include creation and maintenance of fire-lines, engagement of fire watchers, construction of water harvesting structures; watch towers; office and residential buildings for frontline staff and improvement of forest road, providing the fire fighting equipments and vehicles, training and capacity building, awareness campaigns, assistance to Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) to ensure involvement of local communities, Wireless and communication network, fire arms to the frontline forest protection staff, modernization of office equipments and survey and demarcation and preparation of working plans.
Rs. 600 crores have been ear marked for the scheme during 11th Five Year Plan. All State /UT Government provide State share of funds to match the Central share in proportion as stipulated in the Scheme for the approved Annual Plan of Operations of a financial year. The State Government also required to provide necessary funds for maintenance of the assets created under the Scheme and to provide financial and manpower resources for utilization of the assets so created.
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