Contradicting the claims of the Centre which blame the Naxals for the loss of forest cover, the latest report of the AP forest department says that around 130 sq. km. of forests have vanished in a year.

The state report says that the loss of forest cover is due to encroachments. “Maoists and other Naxal groups have been cleared out of the state’s forests. They have been restricted to the state’s borders with Odisha and Chhattisg-arh. The forest cover is declining though there are no naxals,” said a forest official.