By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 3: Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal has directed the Environment and Forest department to set up a permanent office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest at Kaziranga.
The Chief Minister gave the orders in course of a review meeting with Minister for Environment and Forest Pramila Rani Brahma, Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia and senior forest officials at his office conference room late last evening.
The Chief Minister asked the Environment and Forest department to prepare an action plan for generation of revenue to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore out of its own resources during the current fincial year without causing any harm to the ecology.
On the other hand, Sonowal also suggested the department to sell off the timber at the different beat offices online. Underscoring the need for preserving the rich bio-diversity, the Chief Minister directed the department to identify the areas and to take necessary steps.
Asserting unequivocally "human beings survive only when trees exist", Sonowal expressed concern over the fast depletion of the forest cover in the State. "Awareness has to be created for preservation of our State's bio-diversity. Towards this end, the department must involve the students living in 26,000 villages across the State in the conservation campaign to make it a success," he added.
The Chief Minister asked the Environment and Forest Minister to make a whirlwind tour of the affected forest areas and to initiate a slew of measures to protect the reserved forests by planting trees on the fringes and to create water bodies to prevent illegal encroachment. Sonowal asked the department to submit the list of encroached forest land for needful action.
Underlining the need for protection of the State's forest resources, the Chief Minister asked the department to formulate a scheme for plantation of one crore saplings. Sonowal also directed the department to make an in-depth study of the plant species that existed 300 years ago. The Chief Minister suggested the department to examine the quality of sand for its proper utilisation in different sectors.