DFOs play key role in protection & growth of state’s rich forest resources: Forest Minister Bikram Arukh

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Bhubaneswar: Minister, Forest, Environment & Climate Change and Parliamentary Affairs, Odisha, Bikram Keshari Arukha chaired the DFO’s Conference meeting held on Wednesday at 11.00 AM through virtual mode from Lok Seva Bhawan, Bhubaneswar. The meeting was attended by Dr. Mona Sharma,

IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Forest, Environment & Climate Change Deptt.; Sisir Kumar Ratho, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & HoFF, Odisha; Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, Odisha and other senior officers of the Department. The Regional Chief Conservators of Forests of all the 9 Circles and 51 DFOs joined the meeting virtually.

The Odisha Forest Minister stressed upon the 5T & Mo Sarkar programme of the Government to be used in various activities undertaken by Forest Department. He particularly emphasized in bringing the transparency to obtain the trust of the general public.

The Forest Department has proposed to take up the plantations over an area of 1,50,000 ha under different schemes including 50,000 ha under MGNREGS during the current planting season. In view of deficit rainfall of 21 percent between 1st June to 27th July, it was informed that plantations have been undertaken in around 65,615 ha with planting of nearly 2.10 Cr seedlings. In addition, nearly 76.6 lakh of seedlings have been distributed. It was also informed that the Department has kept financial target of Rs.901 Cr under MGNREGS. Proposals worth Rs.500 Cr were submitted, out of which Rs.70 Cr has been spent generating around 18 lakhs mandays employment.

Additional Chief Secretary, FE&CC Deptt. directed that the financial target under MGNREGS is only an indicative and steps should be taken to achieve more as it brings employment to the rural people. She also emphasized that in order to achieve the target, the DFOs may submit the proposals in other activities like SSO, maintenance and repair of forest road, SMC, trenches etc.

PCCF & HoFF, Odisha coordinated the entire meeting and stressed upon the DFOs for early completion of all the plantation activities keeping in view of the rainfall pattern of the State. PCCF (WL) & CWLW, Odisha informed about the launching of Anukampa App with the aim of speeding up payment of compensation money to the persons against the damage caused by the wildlife.

While concluding the meeting, Hon’ble Minister stressed that the people’s participation should be encouraged in all the activities going on in the forestry sector. Mangroove plantations should be increased in the coastal areas as a shelter belt against natural calamities. All the plantation targets including MGNREGS are to be expedited and to be completed by the end of planting season. He expressed that the plantation programme of the state, in all total, is quite good and further emphasis to be given on peoples-oriented programmes.

Prem Kumar Jha, IFS, Addl. PCCF & CEO, CAMPA proposed vote of thanks to Hon’ble Minister and all the participants.

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