CM takes review of Environment and Forest Department We will not tolerate callous attitude of department officials: CM
We will not tolerate callous attitude of department officials: CM
Dispur, Feb 22: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today chaired a review meeting of the Environment and Forest Department at his conference room at Janata Bhawan. Coming down heavily on the department for its lack of new ideas and zeal to achieve growth, the chief minister directed the department to get its act together to remove the bad impression of the department among the people of the state.
Issuing directives to the department for reducing the elephant deaths that have taken place frequently in the recent times, he said that communication must be sent of central government for constructing over-bridges and other such provisions at elephant corridors. Ministry of Railways must also be taken onboard for mitigating elephant casualties due to railway tracks passing through the corridors of the pachyderm, he said. He also said that a lot of railway lines have been laid in the state earlier without any planning as in the case near Deepor Beel because of which elephants have been harmed.
Taking strong note of rampant irregularities taking place in supply of construction materials such as sands, stone chips etc in connivance of forest officials with the contractors, the chief minister expressed dismay over the state of affairs and directed the department to register criminal cases with police against those who are blatantly flouting the norms. "We will not tolerate such callous attitude of department officials and put all those behind bars who are looting the public by running syndicate and passing 5-6 sand trucks against a single challan which allows only one" the chief minister uttered. The government will go after all those corrupt officials of the department who amassed huge wealth through illegal means, he warned.
He also directed the department to take action for installing GPS devices in the trucks within two months failing which trucks would not be allowed to carry construction materials. He said that this would help in keeping tab over the suppliers. He also ordered that all payments and orders of forest department should be made online in the lines of excise department for bringing transparency and plugging the loopholes.
The chief minister also directed the department to build a world-class guest house at Manas National Park and to upgrade the existing guest house at Mathanguri inside the park with modern amenities and equip it with solar energy panels. He also directed the department to take action for building an international convention centre near the park. Instructing the Additional Chief Secretary of Environment and Forest Department Alok Kumar to make a world-class film to showcase the natural beauty of the state and its forest resources, Sonowal said that a top quality production house must be engaged in the work so that true picture of the state's natural splendour is given to the outsiders.
He also asked the department to ensure recruitment of youths from neighbouring villages of Kaziranga National Park into the forest guard posts. He also said that rhino poaching cases have down considerably in the recent times and the same zeal must be maintained by the department for achieving zero poaching status.
Environment and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, Legal Adviser to the chief minister Shantanu Bharali, principal secretary to the chief minister Sanjay Lohia, PCCF Bikash Brahma were also present in the meeting among others.