The Environment Ministry permitted cutting of over 1 crore trees in the last five years for development work, it informed Parliament on Friday.
Responding to a question in Lok Sabha, MoS for EnvironmentBabul Supriyo said the ministry gave permission to cut 1.09 crore trees fordevelopment purposes between 2014 and 2019.
Out of the total, the highest number of trees (26.91 lakh)were uprooted in 2018-19, he said.
Supriyo said data on trees destroyed in forest fires is notmaintained by his ministry.
"Trees are felled for various development purposes withthe permission of competent authorities in accordance with the procedure laiddown in various Acts. However, the Ministry does not maintain data regardingthe cutting of trees due to forest fire," Supriyo said.
According to the ministry data, it gave permission to cut23.3 lakh trees in 2014-15, 16.9 lakh in 2015-16, 17.01 lakh in 2016-17 and25.5 lakh in 2017-18.
Supriyo added, a sum of Rs 237.07 crore has been released inthe last four years to 12 states under the Green India Mission forafforestation in an area of 87113.86 hectares and providing alternative energydevices to 56,319 households.Under National Afforestation Programme, anamount of Rs 328.90 crore has been released to the states to treat new area of94,828 hectares during the last four years (2015-16 to 2018-19), he said.