New Delhi, India, 11 December 2006 – India’s forest cover has grown over the past years and constitutes 20.64 per cent of the total geographical area, the Parliament was informed on Monday. Of the 678,333 sq km forest area, 51,285 sq km area was very dense, 339,279 sq km moderately dense and 287,769 sq km open forest, he said.
Among the states, Madhya Pradesh with 76,428 sq km of forests has the maximum cover followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 68,019 sq km and Chhattisgarh 55,998 sq km. The forest cover grew from 637,293 sq. km in 1999 to 675,538 sq km in 2001 to 678,333 sq km in 2003 when the last assessment was made on the basis of remote sensing satellite data, Environment and Forests Minister A Raja informed during the Question Hour.