8th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)
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Agricultural and Allied Activities || Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Environment and Forests || Industry and Minerals || Village and Small Industries and Food Processing Industries || Labour and Labour Welfare || Energy || Transport || Communication, Information and Broadcasting || Education, Culture and Sports || Health and Family Welfare || Urban Development || Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation || Social Welfare || Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes || Special Area Development Programmes || Science and Technology || Plan Implementation and Evaluation



4.1.1 The scenario of enviornment and forests continues to cause concern. Destruction and degradation of forests are taking a heavy toll of our soil and water resources. An estimated 6000 million tonnes of top soil with essential nutrients are flowing into the sea every year. Loss of top soil, vegetative cover, unregulated surface run-off with poor recharge of aquifers seriously affect the society and in particular tribals. Overall degradation of nature is also making our resources less productive, leading to impoverishment of the rural population.

4.1.2 Much of the water resources and the air in the country continue to be polluted, affecting human health. Besides traditional domestic pollutants, there is increasing contamination by chemicals, heavy metals and other toxic substances which are thrown into the rivers and the sea due to careless industrial and agricultural practices. Unplanned urban growth and industrialisation are also increasing the levels of pollution.

4.1.3 This environmental degradation seriously threatens economic and social progress of the country. Our future generations may discover that life support systems have been damaged beyond repair.

4.1.4 The causes for environmental degradation are many. The prevailing conditions of poverty and underdevelopment themselves create a situation where people are forced to live in squalor and further degrade their environment. On the other hand, the process of development itself may damage the environment, if not properly managed. In the final analysis, removal of poverty, generation of employment, raising the levels of education and increasing awareness of the people are crucial for protection of environment.

Major Tasks

4.2.1 The major tasks for meeting this challenge are:

  1. To protect the natural environment;
  2. To regenerate and restore degraded ecosystems and increase their productivity and to generate employment through these activities;
  3. To decentralise control over nature and natural resources;
  4. To develop and share an understanding of nature and natural processes;
  5. To formulate a national policy for environment and an appropriate institutional and legal framework in support of the policy;
  6. To ensure co-ordinated and integrated Governmental action aimed at conserving nature and sustainable use of natural resources;
  7. To make individuals and institutions more accountable to the people for their actions impinging on environment and ecosystem; and
  8. To monitor the state of environment.

4.2.2 These tasks are not independent of each other, but complementary and sometimes overlapping. Many of them are already being performed by the Central and State Governments. However, much greater effort is called for, if the current trend of environmental degradation is to be reversed.

Protection Strategy

4.3.1 It is a primary task of the Government to protect all natural ecosystems from degradation by having comprehensive strategies of protection, appropriate for different areas, geographical regions, ecological and social systems. Areas need to be classified not only on the basis of their ecological characteristics, including fragility, but also in terms of the types and severity of threats they face, the source and cause of these threats and the level of protection they warrant.

4.3.2 Broadly, threats to natural environment are of three types: pollution, over-use and destruction. Strategies to meet these threats to natural environment can be preventive or regulatory.

4.3.3 The strategy of prevention consists of raising public awareness, strict enforcement of laws, statutory assessment of environmental impact of projects and efforts to regenerate the productivity of ecosystems. The raising of public awareness is effective in some cases in refraining people from harmful activities, once they are convinced of the dangers. Strict laws, rigorously implemented, can prevent environmental destruction through stringent punitive measures, including fiscal, making an undesirable action very expensive for the offender. However, the effectiveness of the principle of 'Polluter Pays' is limited by the sensitiveness of the people to the socio-economic problem. Statutory environmental impact assessment of all projects and activities before their implementation prevents degradation through obligation on the executing agencies to undertake compensatory measures. Destruction can also be prevented by regenerating nature and increasing the productivity of the ecosystems.

4.3.4 The strategy of regulation is best applicable where activities have started or projects have come up. It requires that:

  1. a detailed report should be prepared identifying the sources of pollution by the project or activity and indicating, in a realistic and time-bound manner, the measures required to be taken;
  2. a similar report should be prepared about domestic and agricultural pollution, especially from pesticides, locating sources and suggesting remedial measures;
  3. functioning of the Central and State Pollution Control Boards should be strengthened and be made more open;
  4. comprehensive and realistic standards should be formulated for environmental pollution and for procedures and standards for assessing environmental damage;
  5. industries should be made to recognise, if necessary by a dialogue with the Government, the cost on economy of environmental effects and be persuaded to show greater leadership and responsibility by controlling pollution ab initio through built in measures;
  6. public participation and involvement of NGOs in prevention and control of pollution and environmental degradation should be facilitated by providing necessary technical help, through designated institutions, obliged to provide information and technical advice, and by the Central, State and Local governments setting up appropriate machinery for speedy response to investigation and disposal of public complaints;
  7. for encouraging public vigilance, incentives should be offered for reporting instances of violation of laws relating to pollution, forests, wildlife and other environmental issues, and
  8. the regulatory functions of the Government should be decentralised, especially in relation to pollution with essential training and equipment being provided to representatives of communities.

4.3.5 The Eighth Plan will convert the Ganga Action Plan into the proposed National River Action Plan. Establishment of common effluent treatment plants will be assisted so that small and medium industries can have their wastes treated and effect waste recovery in an economically viable manner. National parks and sanctuaries will be further strengthened. Stress will also be laid on eco-development, especially around protected areas, so that the human population in these areas is not deprived of the basic life support resources and continue to participate in the protection of the environment.

Regeneration and Restoration of Degraded Ecosystems ,

4.4.1 Today, much of nature in the country nes ravaged. Such degradation not only impoverishes the poor further but also affects the ability of the environment to remain productive. It is, therefore, crucial to regenerate the ecosystem and it is imperative that the persons degrading the environment should be made, by law, to regenerate and to restore the areas degraded by them.

4.4.2 Programmes for regeneration and restoration of ecosystem can also provide productive employment to a large section of rural people. Creation of jobs for ecological restoration has relatively few requirements and with marginal investment can yield substantial returns. There are huge areas of degraded land (over 100 million hectares as detailed in tables 4.1) which could be reclaimed. Apart from wages, little other input is required, especially if the work is organised by the local communities themselves on cooperative basis. Most of the land needs only basic water and soil conservation measures and some amount of plantation and protection work. Appropriate measures should be taken and resources provided for this purpose. By protecting, regenerating and restoring the degraded land, pressure on the remaining land, forests and pastures will also be reduced. Similar activities could be designed to restore, in an integrated manner, other natural areas.

4.4.3 In view of the importance of regeneration and restoration, the National Wastelands Development Board has included regeneration of degraded forest lands as part of its objectives and given special thrust to promotion of integrated wasteland development.


4.5.1 No Government can protect, regenerate and ensure sustainable use of natural resources on its own. It is essential, therefore, to decentralise control over natural resources. Decentralisation, in this context, means transfer of control from the Government to the people collectively. An instance of this is the social forestry programme. For collective control, it is important that conditions should be created for effective management through creation of appropriate local bodies and institutional structure. The people must also have access to information and professional knowledge and must be able to call upon technical bodies for advice and support. Such an approach is even more necessary in the case oftribais and other communities who are traditionally dependent on natural produce.

4.5.2 A major initiative in decentralising power will be to enable the villagers to decide for themselves their own priorities and to take up activities accordingly. Research activities should also be reoriented to become more appropriate to the felt needs of local inhabitants.

Development and Sharing of an Understanding of Nature and Natural Processes

4.6.1 Of late, professional bodies have become more isolated and distanced from the people. Consequently, advances in scientific understanding of nature and natural processes have not been shared or developed in partnership with the people, especially the rural and tribal communities who have their own traditional wisdom on these matters. Hence, the enrichment that would have followed from synthesis of these two streams of knowledge did not take place.

4.6.2 Thus, current research, training and awareness programmes need to be reviewed for their content and methodology. Research areas must be selected with care. The thrust of research activities within the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the ICAR, the CSIR and Universities and other associated research institutes, has to be redirected primarily to specific social, managerial and scientific issues relevant to grassroot reality.

4.6.3 Environmental training and education of professionals and administrators is crucial to the establishment of an environment-friendly social system. The pursuit of economic development without being socially and environmentally destructive would be an important content of such training programmes.

Formulation of National Policy

4.7.1 An important task before the Government is the formulation of a comprehensive national policy on nature and natural resources. To be effective it must be evolved in consultation with the people. The policy must also spell out the position regarding environmental needs of the society in general and the rights of the weaker sections such as, tribals, nomads, women and children, especially in terms of giving access to and control over itetural resources, in particular.

Co-ordinatation in Government Action

4.8.1 The task of ensuring co-ordinated Governmental action involves the formulation of a natural resource policy for sustainable development. Irrigation, energy, agriculture and rural development are some of the areas requiring such coordinated action.

4.8.2 Integrated action for irrigation will need a strategy to achieve optimally the irrigation targets by minimising ecological damage, development of appropriate technologies for reducing siltation of dams, promotion of afforestation, conservation of water and research in alternate water harvesting technologies.

4.8.3 For energy, the action points will be conservation, development of mini-hydel generation capacities and environmental management of thermal, hydro and other energy programmes.

4.8.4 The action points for agriculture and rural development will include minimising the use of harmful pesticides and fertilisers, biological control of pests, adoption ofecologically regenerative land and water use. Simultaneously, low input, organic agricultural practices especially in arid zones require to be developed. Environ-mentally sound rural development programmes need to be designed and pursued.

4.8.5 In industry, integrated action would be needed for prevention and control of pollution hazards, suitable location of industrial units, recycling of industrial wastes and adoption of energy efficient technology.


4.9.1 Concerted efforts must be made to internalise environment related costs and benefits into the calculus of viability. This calls for development of suitable methodology for quantifying environmental costs and benefits. The 'business as usual' approach which has so far treated them as qualitative externalities must be discontinued.

Monitoring the Environment

4.10.1 The critical condition of natural environment demands that a system should be set up for constant monitoring of important parameters. This is a responsibility of Government institutions and departments, though an active role should also be assigned to people's organisations at the grassroot level. Since quick preventive action may often be necessary, the monitoring machinery must be comprehensive, have access to critical information, be regular in its assigned role and have the capacity to enforce strict adherence to the norms.

Review of the Seventh Plan

4.11.1 The Seventh Plan saw significant progress in environment and ecology, Ganga action plan, forestry and wildlife, wastelands development and island development subsectors.

4.11.2 Major activities undertaken by the Central Pollution Control Board relate to development of laboratories and management and operation of national air and water quality network, controlling pollution at source, river basin studies and evolution and implementation of national standards. Programmes on waste recycling, prevention of coastal pollution and schemes concerning pollution were initiated in the Seventh Plan.

4.11.3 The Central and State Pollution Control Boards have been implementing laws on pollution control regarding water and air. Fourteen river basins of the country are being monitored for water pollution. Two hundred water quality monitoring stations, 85 air quality monitoring stations and 173 coastal monitoring stations have been established. Standards have been notified for 26 priority industries. More than 50% of the major and medium industries have installed pollution treatment plants. Central assistance is being extended to the State Environment Departments and the State Pollution Control Boards for strengthening their technical set up.

4.11.4 Environmental impact assessment of major river valley and hydro-electric, mining, industrial and thermal power projects were carried out through Environmental Appraisal Committees. All major development projects are subjected to this assessment prior to clearance with or without conditions. The impact assessment procedures have been streamlined by devising a single window machinery for speedy environmental and forest clearance. In all, 1464devel-^ opment projects were appraised during 1985-90^ in the areas of river valley, mining, thermal -power, industries and others.

4.11.5 The Botanical and the Zoological Surveys of India (BSI and ZSI) were restructured and their objectives redefined for a proper orientation towards ecology and conservation. The major activities of BSI have been the compilation of national and State flora and publication of Red Data Book, survey of plant resources and endangered species and studies on taxonomical, eth-nobotanical and geobotanical aspects. The ZSI undertook exploration and survey of faunal resources, augmentation of national zoological collections, status survey of endangered species, taxonomic studies and publication of fauna of India. Construction of a Marine Aquarium-cum-Research Centre at Digha in West Bengal is nearing completion.

4.11.6 Seven Biosphere Reserves have been set up for preserving the genetic diversity in representative ecosystems. Ecological restoration work has been undertaken in fragile areas. Schemes have been initiated on captive breeding of plants and commercial utilisation of medicinal plants. The Doon Valley Board has been ensuring integrated development of ecologically fragile Doon Valley. Special attention is being given for the environmental protection of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. A multi-departmental National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) has been set up. Conservation of plants and special ecosystems like mangroves and wetlands has also been taken up. Fifteen mangrove areas have been identified and status report prepared on mangroves in India. A Core Committee constituted to recommend the framework and operational details of a National Conservation Strategy has given its final report.

4.11.7 Environmental research projects have been sponsored in the universities and other institutions. Three hundred and nineteen research and development projects were sanctioned in the Seventh Plan. Centres of Excellence have been set up in different parts of the country for environmental education, ecological research, studies on mining areas and ornithology. Of these, two centres were set up during the Sixth Plan and one was established in 1986-87. The Centre of Excellence on Ornithology was set up during 1988-89. Eco-Task Forces have been deployed in UP, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir for ecological restoration and land reclamation. The Eco-Task Force in Jammu and Kashmir was created in 1988-89. Eco-development camps were supported for creating awareness through participation in the practical activities of eco-development by Nongovernmental organisations. Two hundred and ninety four camps have been conducted during the Seventh Plan. The Gobind Ballabh Pant Paryavaran Evam Vikas Sansthan has been set up to study Himalayan environment and development.

4.11.8 Field demonstration programmes have been conducted in different areas. Projects on eco-regeneration of Pushkar Lake Valley (Rajasthan), Auroville (Tamil Nadu), Shivalik Foothills (Punjab), Tumkur (Karnataka), Gope-shwar in Chamoli (UP) and Cherapunjee (Meghalaya) were supported.

4.11.9 The programme included schemes on Environmental Education and Training, Seminars/workshops, Pitambar Pant Fellowship, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and Environmental Information. A new scheme on grants- in-aid to professional societies has been introduced in the Seventh Plan.

4.11.10 A national environmental awareness campaign initiated in 1986 was continued. It has covered a wide spectrum of the population through different media, and involving more than 200 non-governmental organisations. Financial assistance has been provided to various institutions, universities and non- governmental organisations for conducting seminars and workshops. The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) has also promoted environmental awareness in the public, particularly among the school children, by organising exhibitions, educational programmes, out-door nature study tours, film shows and lectures. A new gallery on conservation has been set up in NMNH which participated in the Festivals of India in USSR and Japan. The work for setting up a regional museum at Mysore is in progress. A new annual award - "Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar" has been instituted. An environmental information system for collection, storage, retrieval and dissemination of scientific and technical information is in operation in ten centres on different areas of environment. Paryavaran Abttract, a quarterly journal of Research Abstracts, K being published.

4.11.11 Central assistance has been extended to 19 States and 4 Union Territories to strengthen their technical set up. Assistance has been provided to 16 State Pollution Control Boards for strengthening their field set up. A management system to handle different aspects of safety and ecological balance has also been evolved.

4.11.12 A comprehensive Environment (Protection) Act came into being in 1986 to remedy the lacunae noticed in the earlier laws and to serve as a single legislation on the subject. A number of Central and State executive authorities have been delegated powers under the Act. Twenty State Governments have been delegated powers vested with the Central Government under the section 5 of the Act for the issue of direction to any person, officer or authority for purposes of implementation of the provisions of the Act. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 were amended to bring their provisions at par with those of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and to give more powers to the implementing agencies.

Ganga Action Plan

4.12.1 The Government of India had in February, 1985 set up the Central Ganga Authority with the Prime Minister as Chairman to oversee the implementation of the Ganga Action Plan in view of the magnitude of pollution of river Ganga. The objective of the Ganga Action Plan is to intercept, divert and treat the sewage flowing into the river with a view to improve the water quality and to compel the industries discharging their effluents into the river to conform to prescribed standards. Schemes of low cost sanitation, river front development and construction of electric crematoria are a part of the Action Plan. Two hundred and sixty one schemes spread over Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal have been sanctioned at a cost of Rs.256 crores. As many as 147 schemes were completed during the Seventh Plan. An independent evaluation of Ganga Action Plan - Phase I has been sought from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. A monitoring committee of Ganga Action under the Chairmanship of Member, Planning Commission has been operational during the Seventh five year Plan.

Forest and Wild Life Policy

4.13.1 A "National Forest Policy 1988" was formulated in December 1988 with the principal aim of ensuring environmental stability and maintenance of ecological balance. The Forest Conservation Act, 1980 was amended in 1988 to facilitiate stricter implementation and to plug certain loopholes. The rate of diversion of forest land was brought down to about 0.017 million ha. per year from 0.15 million ha. between 1951-52 and 1979-80. The loss of actual forest cover as per the interpretation of Landsat imagery made by the Forest Survey of India during 1987 and 1989 is indicated in table 4.2.

4.13.2 A modern Forest Fire Control Project, assisted by UNDP was implemented in Ma-harashtra and Uttar Pradesh with the objective of devising, testing and demonstrating the principles and techniques of prevention, detection and suppression of forest fires. A scheme on Development of Infrastructure for the Protection of Forests from Biotic Interference is under implementation in various States with a view to preserving and protecting the natural forest wealth and developing adequate infrastructure facilities.

4.13.3 Forest research, education and training have been reorganised to make them more relevant to the present requirements. The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education has been constituted in order to provide impetus and thrust to research activities and education. Five new research institutes viz. Institute of Wood Sciences and Technology, Bangalore; Institute ofDeciduous Forests, Jabalpur; Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Coimbatore;

Institute of Arid Zone Research, Jodhpur and Institute of Rain and Moist Deciduous Forest Research, Jorhat have been set up while retaining the prime role of the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun. Each Institute carries out national level research on one or more facets of forestry and also takes care of the regional needs.

4.13.4 The Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA) has also been established at Dehra Dun for the training of Forest Service probationers. A graduate course in the science of forestry has been introduced .in 14 State Agricultural Universities. Around 250-300 graduates benefit from the programme every year. The new complex of the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) at Bhopal was inaugurated in June, 1988, as an apex research institute in forest management in the country. The Forest Survey of India has been reorganised. It has completed the first stage of the Forest Report including the vegetation maps.

4.13.5 In view of the symbiotic relationship between the tribals and the forest, efforts have been made to associate tribals and other people living in and around forests in general for the protection and development of forests. A centrally sponsored scheme for plantation of minor forest produce including medicinal plants is currently in operation.

4.13.6 Implementation of the 10-point National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) has been started. The Wildlife Institute of India has published a comprehensive report incorporating a workable biogeographic classification system. It makes recommendations for a representative network of protected areas based on this classification to bring about overall improvement in protection and conservation of wildlife. Thirty National Parks and 75 Sanctuaries are being provided financial assistance by the Central Government. The number of tiger reserves rose from 15 to 18 in the Seventh Plan. These cover an area of 28,017 sq. kms. located in 13 States.

Afforestation Programme

4.14.1 In the Seventh Plan there was considerable increase in the total area brought under afforestation programme. Block plantations, strip plantations and farm forestry were carried out. Plan funds were made available through Forest Departments in the States. These were further supplemented in 15 States with new projects which received external assistance. While the total afforestation during the Sixth Plan period was only 4.65 million ha, the coverage in the Seventh Plan, was 8.87 million ha.

4.14.2 The progress of afforestation over the past Plan periods is indicated in Table 4.3. To bring about qualitative changes in this programme, a National Wastelands Development Board (NWDB) was set up in June 1985, with the principal aim of reclaiming wastelands through a massive programme of afforestation with people's participation.

4.14.3 An independent evaluation of Rural Fu-elwood Plantation (RFP) scheme was carried out by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) at the behest of National Wastelands Development Board (NWDB). The study has revealed certain deficiencies in the scheme namely, low survival of plantation (between 40 to 50 per cent) and poor health of the surviving plants; inadequate consolidation of effort and discontinuity; poor maintenance and after care of plantations; predominance of non-fuel species in most States; ambitious targets and bad advance planning leading to poor choice of planting material and lack of people's involvement.

4.14.4 A number of programmes of afforestation were taken up to secure people's participation. Under this scheme, priority was given to

  1. establishment of decentralised nurseries and school nurseries;
  2. block plantation specially on community land and lands ofSC/ST and people living below the poverty line;
  3. pasture development through people's institutions and involvement; and
  4. assistance in the implementation of the Tree Patta Schemes.

4.14.5 The scheme of decentralised people's nurseries was initiated in 1986-87 to encourage seedling production by farmers, especially small and marginal farmers to establish small, dispersed nurseries to cater to local needs of planting material and provide income generating activites to the beneficiaries.

4.14.6 Social forestry projects which were initiated in 1981-82 for periods ranging from five to eight years continued in the Seventh Plan. They envisaged tree planting and afforestation of 19,84,600 ha. of wastelands with a total investment ofRs. 911.73 crores. These projects were assisted by several external agencies, including the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development and Overseas Development Agency of United Kingdom.

4.14.7 Seeds for the ongoing programmes of afforestation were mostly collected without determining their quality. For development of quality seeds, a centrally sponsored scheme was introduced by the National Wastelands Development Board (NWDB) in 1988-89.

4.14.8 To ensure an area-specific approach on fuelwood and fodder, a new centrally sponsored scheme was initiated from 1988- 89. This scheme was to cover the watersheds in the districts included under the National Watershed Development Programme of the Department of Agriculture, so as to ensure integrated development of wastelands in the identified watersheds. The scheme was to be implemented initially, in 52 districts of 11 States.

4.14.9 Aerial seeding holds the potential to cover vast tracts quickly in a cost effective manner, especially in remote, inaccessible areas like ravines and hills. A Centrally-Sponsored Scheme for Aerial Seeding was initiated by the National Wastelands Development Board from 1988-89 to assist a few selected states in systematically carrying out aerial seeding in remote areas and to develop and standardise the steps involved in aerial seeding techniques.

4.14.10 To encourage flow of institutional finance for socially beneficial afforestation and watershed development projects and to encourage afforestation through people's active participation, a margin money scheme was initiated by NWDB in 1987-88. This is a Central Sector Scheme where 25% of the project cost is given as grant, provided an equal matching contribution is given by the eligible Institution/State and at least 50% of the total project cost is financed by a financial institution.

4.14.11 Under the National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) and Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) carried out by the Department of Rural Development, 25% of the funds were specifically earmarked for the social forestry component, during the first four years of the Seventh Plan. The afforestation component under these programmes was impleme 1 by the State Forest Departments mainly Oi government and community lands, road sides and canal embankments. Since the availability of community lands was limited, afforestation was also carried out on degraded forest lands. Bulk of the funds for the forestry sector came from the Rural Employment Schemes under the social forestry component. However, an evaluation carried out by the Programme Evaluation Organisation (PEO) of the Planning Commission has indicated that people's participation under this programme has been very limited and the trees planted were of species which met the requirement of wood for urban markets rather than the subsistence needs of fuel and fodder of the rural poor.

4.14.12 An appraisal of the various afforestation schemes undertaken above reveal some defe-ciencies. They have no specific plan of action for meeting fuel wood and fodder requirements except for the continuance of the scheme for rural fuel wood plantation, which does not directly address these issues. Fostering of people's movements for afforestation has been done largely through increasing people's interest on farm forestry. Under the social forestry programme, the efforts have largely been departmental. The rural poor and tribals, who depend mostly on public and forest lands for their living, have at best, been given restricted access to the areas taken up for development.

4.14.13 There are certain other issues which also need to be addressed so that the schemes for wasteland development achieve the desired objectives of ecological restoration and meet tik-socio-economic needs of the people. The schemes should not be directed towards a single use i.e. fuel or fodder, but should adopt an integrated approach. Besides, in the States, an agency has to be clearly entrusted with the nodal responsibility for wasteland development. An important reason why planning and action programmes for the wastelands development have tended to remain inadequate, is the lack of coordination between the Forest Department, which is the implenting agency in most States, and other departments like Agriculture, Horticulture, Soil Conservation, Minor Irrigation ,>'i<.i Rural Development.

4.14.14 The existing wastelanJ development

schemes generally are not based on integrating the control of run-off rain-water for rednrii.y erosion, soil and water conservation and waiter harvesting. In propagating this technolftyy, there is a need to identify and demonstrate sydiapproaches which have low cost and are less dependant on capital and external inputs.

Island Development Authority (IDA)

4.15.1 Island Development Authority was constituted in August, 1986 under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister to formulate policies and programmes for an ecologically sound, suitable and integrated development of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands. It met six times during the Seventh Plan. The Steering Committee of IDA under the Chairmanship of Member, Planning Commission also held thirteen meetings during the same period. A large number of valuable studies produced by IDA have formed the basis of Plan formulation and resource allocation.

Planning and Environmental Concerns

4.16.1 Systematic efforts have been made since the Sixth Plan period to integrate environmental considerations and imperatives in the planning process in all the key socio-economic sectors. As a result of sustained endeavour, planning in all major sectors like industry, science and technology, agriculture, energy and education includes environmental considerations. This awareness is now shared by most enterprises in the public sector.

4.16.2 In addition to a number of national level bodies which have been constituted by the ministry of Environment and Forests the Planning Commission has set up several expert groups/committees to formulate long- term sectoral policies.

4.16.3 Two separate Expert Groups, one comprising representatives of industry and the other of intellectuals have been constituted under the Chairmanship of the Member, Planning Commission to reconcile the conceptual confrontation between environment and development.

4.16.4 An expert Group to formulate policies for integrated development of Himalayan Region has been constituted under the Member, Planning Commission.

4.16.5 A Standing Committee under the Chairmanship of Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission has been constituted to look into the possibility of expeditious clearance of pending projects.

4.16.6 The Island Development Authority has been reconstituted. The Steering Committee of Island Development Authority has since been replaced by a newly constituted Standing Committee under the Chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Planning commission.

4.16.7 Environmental issues such as depletion of Ozone layer, Greenhouse gases and climate change, bio-diversity and role of forests are current global concerns. Some of these issues are to be discussed shortly at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to be held in Brazil in June 1992. It is essential that these negotiations recognise the aspirations of large masses of poor people and do not impose any burden on developing countries, respecting their sovereign right over their resources. Transfer of technology, flow of new and additional resources to developing countries to fully meet any additional cost are pre-requisites to international cooperation in the environment sector.

Basic Policies

4.17.1 A framework of policies pertaining to forestry and Environment already exists in the form of a number of policy documents, Acts and their amendments and guidelines. Some of these are the National Forest Policy 1988, Draft Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution, 1991, The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, as amended in 1988, National Wildlife Action Plan, Draft National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, the Environment Protection Act of 1986, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974, as amended in 1988, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, as amended in 1987.

Eighth Plan Outlay

14.18.1 In the Central Sector an outlay of Rs. 525.00 crores has been provided during the Eighth Plan period for Forestry and Wildlife sub-sector. The corresponding outlay in the State and UT sector is Rs. 3556.87 crores.

14.18.2 During the Eighth Plan an outlay of Rs. 675.00 crores has been provided for Ecology and Environment sub-sector in the Central Plan. In respect of States and UTs the Eighth Ptan outlay under this sub-sector has been kept at Rs. 153.11 crores.

Table 4.1 Estimates Of Wastelands In India
(Lakh ha)

States/UT Non-Forest Degraded Area Forest degraded Area Total
1. 2. 3. 4.
Andhra Pradesh 76.82 37.34 114.16
Assam 9.35 7.95 17.30
Bihar 38.96 15.62 59.58
Gujarat 71.53 6.83 78.36
Haryana 24.04 0.74 24.78
Himachal Pradesh 14.24 5.34 19.58
Jammu Kashmir 5.31 10.34 15.65
Kamataka 71.22 20.43 91.65
Kerala 10.53 2.26 12.79
Madhya Pradesh 129.47 71.95 201.42
Maharashtra 115.60 28.41 144.01
Manipur 0.14 14.24 14.38
Meghalaya 8.15 11.03 19.18
Nagaland 5.08 8.78 13.86
Orissa 31.57 32.27 63.84
Punjab 11.51 0.79 12.30
Rajasthan 180.01 19.33 199.34
Sikkim 1.31 1.50 2.81
Tamil Nadu 33.92 10.09 44.01
Tripura 1.08 8.65 9.73
Uttar Pradesh 66.35 14.26 80.61
West Bangal 21.77 3.59 25.36
UTs 8.89 27.15 36.04
Total 936.91 358.89 1295.80

Source :Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development, New Delhi, 1984. 

Table - 4.2 Forest Cover-the Comparative Situation (1987 and 1989)
(Area: sq.km.)

Sl. No. State/UTs
Forest Cover Assesment
1987 Assessment
based on  imagery
1989  Asessment
Based on  imagery
in Sq. km.
1. Andhra Pradesh  50194  47911  -2283  -4.5 
2. Arunachal Pradesh 60500 68763 +8263 +13.6
3. Assam 26386 26058 -328 - 1.2
4. Bihar 28748 26934 -1814 -6.3
5. Goa (including Daman and Diu) 1285 1300 +15 + 1.2
6. Gujarat 13570 11670 -1900 -14.0
7. Haryana 644 563 -81 -12.5
8. Himachal Pradesh 12882 13377 + 495 + 3.8
9. Jammu and Kashmir 20880 20424 -456 -2.1
10. Karnataka 32264 32100 - 164 -0.5
11. Kerala 10402 10149 -253 -2.43
12. Madhya Pradesh 127749 133191 +5442 + 4.25
13. Maharashtra 47416 44058 -3358 -7.02
14. Manipur 17679 17885 + 206 + 1.16
15. Meghalaya 16511 15690 -821 -4.97
16. Mizoram 19092 18178 -914 -4.78
17. Nagaland 14351 14356 +5 + 0.03
18. Orissa 53163 47137 -6026 -11.3
19. Punjab 766 1151 + 395 +51.5
20. Rajasthan 12478 12966 + 488 + 3.9
21. Sikkim 2839 3124 + 285 +10.0
22. Tamilnadu 18380 17715 -665 -3.6
23. Tripura 5743 5325 -418 -7.2
24. Uttar Pradesh 31443 33844 +2401 + 7.63
25. West Bengal 8811 8394 -417 -4.7
26. Andaman and Nicobar Island 7603 7624 +21 + 0.27
27. Chandigarh 2 8 +6 +30.0
28. Dadra and Nagar Haveli 237 205 -32 -13.5
29. Daman and Diu - 2 - -
30. Delhi 15 22 +7 +46.6
31. Lakshadweep - - - -
32. Pondicherr y 8 - - -
  Total : 642041 640134 -1907 0.29

Source: The State of Forest Report 1989

  Table - 4.3 Progress of Afforestation through successive Plan periods

SI No. Five Year Plan Period Area afforested in Plan Period (Lakh Ha.) Cumulative (lakh Ha.)
1. First 0.52 0.52
2. Second 3.11 3.63
.'3. Third 5.83 9.46
4. 1966-69 4.53 13.99
5. Fourth 7.14 21.13
-6. Fifth 12.21 33.34
' 7. 1979-80 2.22 35.56
8. Sixth 46.50 82.06
9. Seventh 88.70 170.76
10. 1990-91 7.01 177.77

Source : Developing Wastelands, Ministry of Environment and Forests.

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