New Delhi: Keeping in view of the decrease in forest cover in the Northeastern (NE) states in 2017 compared to 2015, a parliamentary panel has asked the Environment ministry to take necessary steps to arrest the declining trend.

This was mentioned in the 321st report on action taken by the ministry on the recommendations contained in the 313th report of the department-related parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment and forest on the demands for grants (2018-19) of the Environment ministry.

One of the mandates of the Environment ministry is afforestation and regeneration of degraded forests.

In its action taken report to the panel, the Environment ministry has said that special attention is being given towards increasing forest cover in the NE states.

As per the ministry, an amount of Rs 30 crore was allocated for the NE region for implementation of Green India Mission (GIM) for the period 2015-16 to 2017-18. However, the total amount released for the northeastern states is Rs 52.47 crore.

The panel report showed that forest cover in the northeastern states of Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya decreased in 2017 as compared to the 2015. The panel also stated that jungles in these areas are rich in forest carbon and the declining trend could have been avoided.