To mitigate the possibilities of unfortunate incidents like elephant death in Bamuni Hills and indiscriminate deforestation across the state, Assam CM Himanta Biswas Sarma on Wednesday announced initiation of some major forest reforms soon.
Sarma announced fixation of accountability and deployment of strict actions on erring officials on the ground of causing adversity to the forests.
It was an event organised by the environment and forest department to celebrate the 72nd Van Mahotsav week .
Eighteen elephants, including five calves, died due to electrocution by lightning at the Kondoli Proposed Reserve Forest under Nagaon Forest Division in May.
The chief minister said that drone surveys will be conducted for verifying the authenticity of tree plantation programmes carried out under Compensatory Afforestation Fund
Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and other biodiversity projects.
Asserting that the reforestation drive under Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC) will have to be monitored for quantifying the performance, Sarma
stressed the need to increase the use of technology like satellite imaging by the forest department.
The chief minister also said that the state government is considering the option of giving one month of compulsory paid leave to forest guards working in sanctuaries and
Officials of the forest department must work for preserving the resources like sand, stones, he said, adding that forest beats and gates will now be abolished to check corruption and illegal supply of forest resources.
The chief minister also advocated simplifying rules for enabling people to grow agar, red sandalwood, and other valuable trees in their private lands.
(With PTI Inputs)