Forest Martyrs solatium to be hiked from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh,CM Bommai announces

Dr.B Thomas (Special correspondent )

I n order to ensure stability and social security of the forest martyrs,the State government will hike the solatium from the existing Rs.30 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh,announced Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Speaking after paying respects to martyrs as part of National Forest Martyrs Day-2022 organised by the Forest Department here on Sunday, Bommai said his predecessor, BS Yediyurappa had hiked the solatium paid to martyrs from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.

The incumbent government will further hike from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.Besides,the government will ensure appointment of martyrs family members on compassionate grounds and their welfare with utmost sympathy. ”

You protect the forest,the government will protect you”.

Plans to increase the forest cover from 21 percent to 30 per centHe pointed out that Karnataka has over 4 lakh hectares of barren land and afforestation can be done to increase the forest area.

There are hilly regions where native plants can be grown.The iron ore mines of Tata Company are located in Jamshedpur but there is greenery everywhere.

When this is possible in mine why not in a hilly region? If they have will power, the forest cover can be increased and this is the best gift that can be given to the next generation.

Environment budget The CM said the environmental damage that will happen in one year must be rectified in the same year.

Karnataka was the first state in the country to present the environment budget and Rs.100 crore has been reserved.

The Department is formulating the environment budget and the government has already given its approval for the action plan.

This year,an afforestation program will be taken up at a cost of Rs 100 crore.

A special plan has been chalked out by the forest department to conserve the ecologically sensitive areas.

The Department of Forest and Environment has taken special interest to protect natural resources and to minimise loss to the environment.

By implementing the action plan this year, a new model will be prepared and increase the forest cover.

Striving to minimise man-animal confrontation Bommai asked the Forest Department to strive towards reducing man-animal conflict.

It is true that elephant menace is very high and the government has provided Rs.100 crore to evolve a new system in protecting people from them. Late forest ministerUmesh Katti had evinced a lot of interest in this regard.

The experiment of putting the fence was going on in Bandipur.Katti had visited all the forest areas and he never compromised when it came to discharging his duty.

Katti never succumbed to pressure.He should have worked as Forest Minister for some more time but he left all of us suddenly. Katti’s memory will be in the minds of everyone”.The CM

observed that forest is not just a part of nature but a part of life. But they are behaving as if there is no relationship between forest and civilization. Forest gives them rain, crops, food and clean air.

Any country which did not have forest has become a desert.But they are lucky as there is forest in India and there is opportunity to grow it. It is not possible to imagine Karnataka and other

South Indian states without the Western Ghats. Most of the rivers that flow in the Western Ghats will join the Bay of Bengal.

The state of Karnataka is blessed with rich natural resources and the Western Ghats has ensured widespread rains in Karnataka,Kerala, Andhra Pradesh,Maharashtra and Gujarat.

With so many utilities there is a need to protect forests.Their lifestyle has changed due to imbalance in nature.

Adjust to nature and liveHe said a country will become rich if it adjusts with nature and it will show its another form if people go against it.

Climate change has changed and floods are occurring in rivers.The rainfall pattern has changed resulting in continuous and heavy rains in some places.

There is an emergency need to set right the imbalanced nature.According to a study,the use of natural resources that should have happened in 2000 years has been used in just 20 years, indicating the speed of destruction of nature.

It must be checked at any cost in the interest of the future.The forefathers used and transferred to them and that needs to be handed over to the coming generation.

Not doing it means their dereliction of duty.The children are denied the right to clean air and clean food,and snatching their rights is like denying them a good future.

In a bid to protect flora and fauna,the forest personnel and the citizens have sacrificed their lives and it is their duty to remember their supreme sacrifice. It is their duty to protect and preserve nature and that can be done by growing trees . The forest cover must be increased from the current 21 per cent to 30 per cent.

The wildlife come out of their habitats only due to the shortage of food and foliage. “If man tries to stay in the forest, the wild animals too try to come out of the forest.

The man-animal conflict must be checked on priority, he added.Karnataka Forest Development Corporation Chairman Tara Anuradha and Additional Chief Secretary (Forests) Jawaid Akther, PCCF Raj Kishore Singh and others were present.