Ranchi, Jan. 8: Principal Secretary Sukhdev Singh on Friday said that trees are not being cut in the name of development. Against approval of cutting 9.15 lac trees after formation of the state, 42.39 cr trees have been planted. In the past ten months, 1.30 cr plants have been planted.
Mr. Singh said that the notified forest area is 23605 square km which is 29.61% of total area of the state. He said that 974 km area has been afforested in the last 15 years which is a good sign. Jharkhand is very close to the national average which is 33%. He summoned the people to help in aforestation drive and said that 50% of the plantation cost on private land will be borne by the state govt.
Moreover, maps are digitalized for conservation of additional forest land. So far as 95% maps have been given electronic form & the remaining 5% will be digitalized in 1 year. Survey & erection of boundary of the forest areas are fixed with the help of Differential Global Positioning System.
Mr. Singh said that the govt. has formed policy to promote eco-tourism & basic infrastructural facilities like road, electricity, water, tourist rest house, tent house & tree houses will be developed under it. The local youths around the eco tourist spot will be trained as guide &employed.
On the plague caused by the elephants in various part of the state, Mr. Singh said that the govt. is starting Gaj Pariyojana & a corridor will be developed for the elephants. Apart from it, a well equipped gram suraksha samiti will be formed to deal with elephant attacks. The govt. is also going to establish Wild Life Control Room in Ranchi.
Regarding the number of tigers, the Principal Chief Forest Custodian ( HQ) Mr. B. C. Nigam said that the number of tigers is not stated in any of the surveys of Palamu Tiger Project.
Now the department has decided to ensure the number of the tigers. The possibility of 15 tigers cannot be denied but still it is a probability. He said that senior wild life researcher Prof. Raghuram & Mr. Rajesh Gopal of Global Tiger Forum have been contacted.
Mr. Singh further added that the forest officers/staff will have to reply if illegal crusher operation is found in forest areas.
In the press conference PCCF Mr. A. K. Prabhakar, Mr. Pradip Kr & special secretary Mr. A. K. Rastogi were present.