Hyderabad, Sept 19 (INN): The Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today asked the Chief Secretary Dr P K Mohanty to submit a comprehensive report on the methods being followed by the Police department and measures being taken for preventing attacks on Forest Personnel, extending benefits to the families of Forest Officials who died due to such attacks. The Chief Minister agreed to sanction about 40 additional Armed Police Parties in addition to 12 parties functioning in Red Sanders Belt for strengthening of the Forest department and asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) to submit the proposals.
The Chief Minister today reviewed the measures to be taken for strengthening of Forest department at the Camp Office. Minister for Forests Satrucharla Vijaya Rama Raju, Chief Secretary Dr P K Mohanty, Special Chief Secretary (Forests and Environment), Mr Samuel, PCCF, Mr B S S Reddy and other senior officials attended the meeting.
The Chief Minister directed that the Act should be amended suitably for stringent punishment to the smugglers of Teak, Rose wood, Sandal wood and Red Sanders. The Chief Minister asked the officials to amend the existing provisions and the proposals sent by the Forest department of 3-12 months imprisonment and fine up to Rs 10,000 in the case of Red-sanders smugglers to 10 years and fine up to Rs.10 lakhs. The Chief Minister also directed that utmost care should be taken while framing provisions in the Bill in consultation with the law department and to make offences under the Act cognizable and non-bailable and amendments be made to PD Act to include forest offenders.
The Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to study the recruitment policy of Forest Department on the lines of Police
Department for strengthening it at various levels and relaxation of ban on transferring certain staff. He also agreed to sanction one Special Government Pleader for legal assistance exclusively for Forest department and asked to send the proposals. The Chief Minister also agreed to permit to engage qualified surveyors on outsourcing basis in the forest divisions.
The Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to convene a joint meeting with the Forest, Revenue and Tribal Welfare Departments to settle the issues relating to RoFR Act and Joint Forest Management Committees. He also asked the officials to make efforts to introduce special classes and practical camps in nature-loving, Trekking, Forest and Wild-life Conservation for the Government School Students