Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Saturday said the government would act very firmly to check timber and wood smuggling and suggested a four point multi-pronged strategy to improve green cover.
Rao, who held a meeting with officials on protecting forests, said the intelligence wing was involved in identifying those who indulged in illegal felling of forests and smuggling timber and wood.
Suggesting a thorough review of the existing forest act of Telangana,Rao said a new Act can be brought out to conserve the forests and to punish the smugglers.
He suggested a four point multi-pronged strategy to improve the greenery in the state.
This would entail protecting existing forests in toto, rejuvenating lost forests, taking up social forestry in rural areas and lastly to develop greenery in all cities, including Hyderabad and Warangal, towns and urban areas to avoid pollution, a release from the chief minister's office said.
The forest mission should move ahead with the slogan 'jungle bachao, jungle badhao' (protect forests, promote forests), he said.
The chief minister said there there was no point in conducting massive tree plantation drives in the state unless the loss of forest cover was checked.
"Only when there is 33 per cent greenery would there be environmental equilibrium. Official data states that Telangana has 24 per cent forests, but in effect it would be only 12 per cent.
In forest areas the situation is not so encouraging and is very pathetic," Rao said.
He asked forest department officials to appoint officers with integrity, commitment in forest areas to protect the forests, the release sai.
He directed that checkposts be set up in large numbers in forest areas and suggested that District Collectors, Superintendents of Police and district forest officials jointly evolve an action plan to protect the forests.
At the field level, police inspectors and forest range officers together should the responsibilities, he said.
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