Forest Minister Mr. Mohammed Akbar said that in accordance with the guidelines of Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel, special preparations are being made by the Forest Department keeping in mind the balance in life and livelihood in the lock-down during the Corona crisis. Work has been started in several areas to increase employment opportunities in forest areas. The Forest Minister said that the preparation of tendupatta collection has been completed to provide employment to the people in the forest areas. About Rs 650 crore will be paid to the 13 lakh tendupatta collecting families in the state for collection. Mr. Akbar was talking to reporters through video conferencing from his residence office here today. He gave detailed information about the important decisions taken by the department to prevent and prevent Kovid-19 infection from people in the state during the lockdown period.
Shri Akbar said that under the recurring grazing scheme in 324 villages through 7 thousand 887 joint forest management committees in the forest areas of the state under the Suraji village scheme, an ambitious scheme being run to strengthen the rural economy of the state Is being constructed So far, more than 8 thousand villagers are getting employment in these works. Similarly, water conservation and augmentation works have also been started to increase irrigation facility and productivity of land in forest areas. To treat river drains, one thousand 142 stopdem checkdams etc. structures are being constructed. Employment is being provided to about 8 thousand needy people in these works. An amount of Rs 160 crore will be spent on these. He informed that geo tagging of drains is being done in Campa item. Presently, the process of recruitment of 59 forest area officers and 300 guards has also been started for the protection of forests.
Mr. Akbar said in the discussion that under Chhattisgarh Compensatory Forest Planting Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) deposit item scheme, he informed about sending a proposal to the Government of India for the expenditure of dealing with Kovid-19. After getting permission from the center, the amount will be used for screening test of villagers in Vananchal, P.P.E. Kit, Quarantine and Isolation etc. In response to a question, the Forest Minister said that 23 minor forest produce are currently being purchased in the state at the minimum support price. In this, purchase of Mahua flower was being made at the rate of Rs. 17 per kg, which has been increased to Rs. 30 per kg by the state government keeping in mind the interest of collectors of minor forest produce. Collectors have also been given exemption to sell them voluntarily if they are purchased by a businessman at a rate higher than the fixed support price. In this way the collector is free to sell his forest produce at a higher rate.
Forest Minister Shri Akbar informed that a target has been set to plant about 7 crore saplings in the state this year in the rainy season, 13 thousand 120 people are being provided employment in preparing the plant. Economic activities are being conducted to increase the income of forest dwellers through forest committees. Nine thousand 300 people are engaged in paddy and mushroom cultivation, native poultry farming, pond deepening, vermi compost manure, tree-guard and soap and pickles etc. Similarly, 50 lakh masks are being constructed at a rapid pace by members of the forest committee and women self-help groups. Currently 6 thousand 700 people are being given employment through fire protection works in the forests. For the drinking water facilities in Vananchal, 4 thousand 133 bore mining works are being done.
Forest Minister Shri Akbar informed that permission has been given to operate dhabas on garages and highways for repairing vehicles, trucks, etc. which transport goods. Keeping in mind the interest of bus-truck owners in the state, an important decision has also been taken to waive the outstanding tax, interest or penalty of about Rs 331 crore. The validity of vehicle fitness, permits, driving licenses, registration and other documents has been extended till 30 June 2020. At present, the condition of environmental protection is better in the major industrial cities of the state, Bhilai, Raipur, Raigad, Bilaspur and Korba. In these cities, except for Korba, air quality index is less than 50 percent, which is considered good. On this occasion, Principal Secretary of Forest Department Mr. Manoj Pingua, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Rakesh Chaturvedi, Managing Director State Small Forest Produce Association Mr. Sanjay Shukla and other departmental officers were present.