20 Apr 2012

Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has laid emphasis on strengthening the Forest Panchayats.,

Dehradun, April 19:
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has laid emphasis on strengthening the Forest Panchayats, immediate release of service manuals relating to them and resolutions to displacement issues of Van Gujjars. He said that very soon a talk would be held with Union Forest and Environment Minister to discuss about the problems relating to the inhabitants of Askot and Govind wild life sanctuaries. He asked the concerned officials to provide 44 mobile vans to Forest Department to monitor movements of elephants.
Chief Minister, while reviewing the work progress of Forest Department at Secretariat on Thursday stated that Uttarakhand had 65 per cent forest area and asserted on increasing it. He asked the officials to hold meeting in the month of May in this regard. He advocated implementing effectively the development programs relating to public welfare and also speed up the proposal prepared to increase the compensation amount given by the Forest Department. The other areas where Chief Minister laid emphasis included promoting Eco-tourism; increasing Departmental budgets so that works were not hampered due to paucity of fund, effective implementation of Campa Schemes, provision of 44 Mobile Vans to Forest Department to monitor movements of elephants, disposal of cases relating to civil and third party land. Chief Minister Bahuguna further said that he would very soon meet Union Forest Minister to advocate setting up of an office in Dehradun presently function from Lucknow for speedy disposal of cases pertaining to Forest Land Act.
Chief Minister Bahuguna said that state was playing important role in the area of Carbon absorption capacity. He said that increase in the capacity would prove beneficial for the people. He asked the concerned officers to prepare comprehensive report on the problems faced by the inhabitants of Askot and Govind Wild Life Sanctuaries and submit it to the State Government so that the issue could be discussed with the Union Forest and Environment Minister. He asked them to prepare effective work plan to check forest fires and constitute Task Forces in all sensitive zones.
Chief Minister also asked the officials to make Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation active and encourage Eco-tourism based activities.
Principal Chief Forest Conservator Dr. RBS Rawat said that the Central Commission has placed the state in the first category for its contribution in forest conservation. He revealed that Uttarakhand's forest area was 1.6 percent in the country but its contribution in Carbon absorption capacity was 7 per cent which was four times higher than the forest area. Mr. Rawat said that the Forest Department had so far generated employment for 300 lakhs human-days and had generated revenue of Rs. 230 crores. He said that 6 Eco Task Forces had been constituted. The Forest Department, by working towards the conservation of tigers had made significant contribution in increasing the numbers of tigers.  He said that 200 nurseries had been established run by women folk and forest roads had been strengthened. The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Utpal Singh, Principal Secretary Planning M Ramaswami, Principal Forest Conservator Wild Life SS Sharma, Managing Director Forest Development Corporation Srikant Chandola, Principal Forest Conservator Project Beena Shekhri and other Departmental officers.

Earlier, Chief Minister gave patient hearings to the problems of general public and instructed the concerned officers to provide immediate resolutions to them. He also sanctioned appropriate fund for sick and homeless people from CM Discretionary Fund.


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