Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday announced to increase the reservation for the Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Castes in government jobs and education.
During an Independence Day function here, the chief minister also said that an 'elephant reserve' would be set up in the state to provide the tuskers a permanent habitat and prevent human-animal conflicts.
He also announced creation of a new district -- Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi -- out of Bilaspur, taking the total number of districts in the state to 28.
Addressing people at the Police Parade Ground here after hoisting the national flag, Baghel said the STs, SCs and OBCs have been raising issues about their rights in a peaceful manner and it is the government's duty to protect their constitutional rights.
"Taking a major step in this direction, today I announce that now 27 per cent reservation will be provided to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 13 per cent to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 32 per cent to the Scheduled Tribes (STs)," he said.
Till now, the OBCs and SCs were getting 14 per cent and 12 per cent reservation, respectively, in educational institutions and government jobs in the state, while the STs had 32 per cent quota, an official said.
The chief minister also announced to develop Lemru forest area in Korba district as an elephant reserve to deal with the increasing man-animal conflicts in the state's northern part.
"The state has witnessed loss of life and property due to the movement of elephants. One of the key reasons for the menace is that elephants are facing threats to their habitat. In view of this, we will set up the 'Lemru Elephant Reserve'," he said.
The elephant reserve will be the "first of its kind in the world" and provide a permanent habitat to the pachyderms, Baghel said.
The government will also launch a 'Suposhan Abhiyan', to fight malnutrition, across the state on October 2, he said.
He also said that an assistance of Rs 10,000 per month will be provided to the 'gowthan' (cow shelter) committees to provide honorarium to herdsman and other facilities at the cow shelters.
Earlier, the chief minister received guard of honour from the joint parade of contingents of various security forces and students of the National Cadet Corps, and Scouts and Guides.