Dr.Thomas (Special Correspondent)
*Emphasis on construction of barricades to prevent animals coming out from forest areas.
Steps should be taken to prevent human-wildlife conflicts.Funding to build barricades to prevent animals from coming out of forest areas will be looked into.
It is the responsibility of the forest department to provide fodder and drinking water for wild animals within the forest area,Chief Minister Siddaramaiah directed the officials of the forest department to take appropriate action in this regard.
He was speaking at the Chief Minister’s Medal Presentation Ceremony organized by the Karnataka Forest Department at Vidhana Soudha today.
Afforestation should be done by planting more saplings.The expansion of forest area will be of great benefit to the state.
Though it is a matter of happiness to see an increase in the number of tigers and elephants in the forests,the wild animals are entering human habitats and this is posing a problem to forst department as well as the people,he said.
Climate extremes can be prevented by increasing forest cover:
Karnataka State is in forefront in forest and wildlife conservation.It is the responsibility of the government to encourage officers who perform their duties well.
More emphasis should be given to forest development. Out of total land area of the state only 20 percent is forest area.
This forest area must be expanded for at least 33 percent.Climate change can only be avoided by expanding the forest area .
We are facing many problems due to scarce rain this year. Situations like Cauvery water issue,drought, shortage in food production arises.
This situation affects the state’s GDP,per capita income.This time 50% crop is damaged in 40 lakh hectares.
He said that such a drought situation occurs every four to four years,and if the forest area increases,it is possible to prevent such extreme weather conditions.
Present Chief Minister’s Medal every year:
Employees of forest department work under very difficult conditions and conserve the forest.They not only protect the wildlife but also do the work for forest cultivation.
Since 2017,the work of awarding Chief Minister’s Medal to officers who have rendered exceptional service has been done.
Awards for the year 2017,2018, 2019 has been distributed.Fifty medals are awarded for the year 2020 and 2021.
The medal distribution ceremony was not held for two years.There should not be a practice of awarding medals of 2-3 years together and there is no need to wait two or three years after the selection of the awardees.The Chief Minister advised the Minister of forest to award the Chief Minister’s Medal every year.
Forest Minister,Eshwar Khandre,Minister,Priyanka Kharge,Additional Chief Secretary,Javed AKthar, Principal Conservator of Forests,Rajiv Ranjan,senior officers of the department were present.