56 per cent staff shortage in forest department

Rajahmundry: Principal chief conservator of forests N Prateep Kumar said on Friday that shortage of finances and human resources have made it impossible for the forest department to increase the forest cover to 33 per cent as per the mandate given by the Centre.
He informed that there is shortage of 56 per cent front line staff in the department.
However, he said that chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy has assured of recruiting staff every year to fill up the vacancies and also promised to enhance the forest department’s budget.
He maintained that the chief minister has assured that the forest budget will be placed in the green channel. He also said that the CM has released Rs 40 crore to purchase 200 new vehicles initially.
Speaking to reporters about the red sanders logs and smugglers, Prateep Kumar said that every beat officer will cover 2,400 hectares at present, and warned that stern action will be taken on any illegal activity being taken place in the forest area.
He said that the chief minister has suggested adding value to the red sanders which is being seized from smugglers instead of selling them in form of logs.

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