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Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 12:28 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 12:28 AM (IST)

Minister lists steps to keep forest mafia under check

Key measures

  • All forest guards below 40 were being provided arms to safeguard the forest wealth
  • Cameras have also been provided to the forest staff to facilitate their working
  • Rapid response force has been constituted for prompt action againstforest mafia
  • Vehicles of the forest staff were being fitted with GPS to ensure senior officials too were also aware of the happenings in the field

Tribune News Service

Solan, April 16

In a bid to tighten noose on the forest mafia, group patrolling has been initiated by the Forest Department which has helped register several cases against them. This was stated by Forest, Transport, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Govind Thakur after dedicating a forest court room to the people constructed at a cost of Rs 17 lakh at Rajgarh in Sirmaur district on Monday.

He said the state government had taken a stern note of illegal tree felling in the Koti forest area of Shimla and Fatehpur in Kangra district and legal action has been initiated against the forest mafia.

He said all forest guards below the age of 40 years were being provided arms so that they face no problem while safeguarding the forest wealth.

In addition to this, cameras had also been provided to the forest staff to facilitate their working.

Apart from this, a rapid response force has been constituted for prompt action against forest mafia and vehicles of the forest staff were being fitted with GPS to ensure senior officials too were also aware of the happenings in the field.

He said in a bid to conserve forests, special initiative was being taken to enhance the area under green cover.

Measures like erecting barbed wire around plantation sites would be taken. Efforts would also be made to enhance the survival rate of the saplings.

In order to encourage the forest staff, who would prepare quality planting material in the nurseries , they would be rewarded as per the Hoshiar Award Scheme.

The minister later honoured the forest staff of Rajgarh forest division for their outstanding services.

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