Chandigarh, Apr 26 (PTI) Taking a serious note of theft of ‘Khair’ wood from forest area of Talwara in Hoshiarpur, Punjab Forest and Wildlife Preservation Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot today sought a report from the range officer within a week.
He said the responsibility to ensure effective mechanism for putting a stop to the theft of wood and illegal felling is on the forest officers concerned who would be answerable for any such incident in future, as per an official release here.
Exhorting the forest officers to discharge their duties dedicatedly, the minister made it clear that nobody is authorised to fell trees without procuring no objection certificate (NOC) and this un-lawful practice should be severely dealt with.
Dharamsot further said the state government has chalked out a programme for planting saplings on a large scale so as to make the environment clean and green.
He also said that under various schemes the people are also being made aware to plant saplings near their houses to ensure perfect ecological balance.
He added that sometimes owing to widening of roads it becomes imperative to cut trees but the state government is working on war footing to increase forest cover through planting of saplings by going in for land acquisition at various places.
Dharamsot also said that another comprehensive strategy has been formulated as per which the farmers of the state would be supplied with 10 to 25 lakh saplings free of cost in order to assist them in going for planting eucalyptus, poplar and ‘Dek’ instead of the usual crop cycle.
He categorically said illegal encroachments on forest department land would not be tolerated and in case anybody’s complicity is proved in this practice then it would lead to a strict action in accordance with the law.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.