Arunachal CM prods forest department to raise tiger protection force

GUWAHATI:   Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Pema Khandu has expressed his concern over the hitherto failure of the state forest department to raise Special Tiger Protection Force despite the fund provided by the Centre for recruitment of personnel for the force.

He directed the department to take up the matter on priority basis and raise the Tiger Protection Force at the earliest.

Addressing a review meeting of senior forest officers of the state in Itanagar on Friday, Pema Khandu said conservation should not only mean protecting forests and wildlife but also take into account improving lives of the people living around them.

Chief Minister said the forest department should shed away its image of a stumbling block to development.  He urged the department to change its working style and move towards transparency, accountability and efficiency. He said the department has lost its charm by being less active and called on the officers to work hard to bring back its lost glory.

He suggested the department to come up with innovative solutions to strike a balance between environment sustainability and economic growth, maintaining that forest conservation should always be on priority.

Urging the department to be proactive, Chief Minister said it must start taking leadership roles in sensitizing the people towards conservation. He suggested the department that any conservation related tourism festivals in the state must be taken over by forest department. This, he felt, will be effective in spreading the message of conservation as forest department is well versed with the subject.

Chief Minister also called on the department to submit proposals for centrally-sponsored afforestation scheme on time from district level. He informed that this year funds for CAMPA had been distributed all over the state unlike earlier times when such funds where limited only to certain areas and on avenue plantation.

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