Govt committed to uplift forest dwellers’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Nov 2017 15:22:19


Staff Reporter,


There are 46 tigers in Chhattisgarh

Forest Minister Mahesh Gagda on Wednesday stated that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was taking continuous initiatives for all-round development of forest dwellers.

Addressing a press conference at New Circuit House here, Mahesh Gagda said that the BJP government had launched various ambitious and welfare schemes for the upliftment of
forest dwellers in last 14 years.

Minor forest produce is being purchased by the Forest Department on minimum support price. In addition, bonus is being given to tendu leaf collectors. Insurance benefit is being given to tendu leaf collectors
under ‘Janshree Bima Yojana’ and meritorious children of tendu leaf collectors are given scholarship for their studies. In 2013-14, sarees worth Rs 37 crore were distributed among 12.5 lakh women.
Over 6,72,000 children of the tendu leaf collectors received Rs 69.48 crore between 2008 and 2016, the Forest Minister said.

Gagda said that the State government had launched a plantation drive ‘Hariyar Chhattisgarh’ to increase green cover. A total of 428 forest villages were converted into revenue villages to bring people of the forest areas into the mainstream of society, he added.
The State government has done commendable job to motivate farmers of the tribal regions for lac cultivation and over 47,000 beneficiaries were trained.

About tusker menace, Gagda said that the number of elephants had increased to 300 in 2017 from 32 in 2000. This is the reason elephant-human conflict is being reported from Surguja and Bilaspur divisions. Meanwhile, the Forest Department is taking various measures to minimize elephant-human conflict. There were only 32 elephants in 2000 but at present, there are over 300 elephants. There are 46 tigers in the state. The Department is doing various commendable jobs for conservation of wildlife. Eco-tourism and wildlife tourism are being promoted in the state, he added.

Over 2.5 lakh tourists had visited Jungle Safari in Naya Raipur so far.
Replying to a query on increasing cases of illegal deforestation, the Minister said that the Forest Department had taken various measures to prevent deforestation. The BJP government is committed to conserve forests and wildlife, Gagda added.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) R K Singh and other senior officials were present at the press conference.