Report by OD bureau; Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of completion of 50 years on 27th September-2012, Odisha Forest Development Corporation celebrated its Golden Jubilee at Jayadev Bhawan, Bhubaneswar.
The function was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Forest and Environment Minister, Bijayshree Routray graced the occasion as “Guest of Honour”. Chief Minister also inaugurated and exhibition on this occasion which displayed the various activities undertaken by OFDC limited in the past and at present.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister appreciated the services rendered by OFDC in meeting the timber and fuel wood requirement of people in the State specially the dedicated firewood supply for cremation purposes. He also emphasized the natural forests have to be conserved for checking climate change and environmental degradation, so Corporation should expand its activities by taking up more and more plantation which can be harvested to meet the requirement of people.
Forest Minister Bijayshree Routray also emphasized that Corporation which is now debt free and profit making Company has to promote farm forestry and Agro forestry to fulfill the requirement of timber and firewood as well as to protect the environment. Shri R.K. Sharma, IAS Principal Secretary, Forest and Environment Department and Chairman, OFDC also advised Corporation to diversify in a field less dependant on forest like managing ecotourism to create employment opportunities for local people. Principal C.C.F. Odisha, Shri P.N. Padhi, IFS delivering key note address emphasized Corporation to revive its past activity of raising plantations and meeting the people’s requirement though new plantations.
S.S. Srivastava, IFS, Managing Director, OFDC welcomed the dignitaries and appraised about the present activity of OFDC. Its turn over during 1962-63 at the time of inception was Rs. 15 lakh which has increased to Rs.482 crore at present. Now it is a profit making company and diversified into the trade of Kendu leaf, plantation, Rubber, Cashew, MFP & Ecotourism while timber working continues to be its core business. He highlighted that there is vast scope to promote farm forestry. Sawmill network which is seven in number only at present, need to be established in each District. Facilitation from Government for running ecotourism is also required.
9 Institutions associated with OFDC and 8 Employees & 2 Labourers of Corporation were also felicitated on the occasion which include top 3 Panchayats producing maximum quantity of Kendu leaf namely Tribanpur Panchayat of Athammallik (KL)Division in Sambalpur District, Baragaon Panchayat of Boudh KL Division in Boudh District, 3 Vana Surakhya Samitis (VSS) namely Giri Gobardhan VSS, Badapari, Khorda Forest Division, Balunkeswar Naba Pallad VSS, Balisinsa, Nayagarh Forest Division and Jhulanbarg VSS of Sundargarh Forest Division were also paid their share of dues on account of final harvest of the crop in their assigned forest area and 3 KL traders namely M/s L.D. Patel, Padmanavpur, Drug(M..P) for purchasing highest quantity of Phal KL for the last 5 years, M/s Shiv Beedi Mfg.Co.Pvt. Ltd, Aurangabad, West Bengal for purchasing highest quantity of Processed leaves and M/s Overseas Traders, Mumbai for purchasing highest quantity of KL exported to other countries from Odisha.
Ajit Bharthuar, IFS, Director (Commercial) gave vote of thanks on the occasion.