Parl panel calls on the Ministry of the Environment to respond to the problem of staff shortages in state forestry departments

A parliamentary panel on Wednesday called on the Environment Ministry to address the problem of lack of human resources in state forestry departments and said it was one of the “very crucial reasons” for the inability to cope with forest fires.

The 349th ‘State of India’s Forests’ report, submitted by the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to Parliament, said the ministry had not responded to this “important aspect” of his observation.

“The committee notes that the ministry did not respond to its observation regarding the lack of human resources in the state forestry department. The ministry should not ignore this important aspect and submit the actions taken on the recommendation of the committee,” said the panel chaired by Congressman Jairam Ramesh said.

According to the report, the committee believes that the lack of human resources in the state forestry departments “is one of the crucial reasons for its inability to cope with the forest fires which affect large areas of forests”. “Therefore, the committee is of the opinion that the forestry departments of the state governments should take this aspect very seriously and fill the vacant positions after completing the required procedures and the approval of the relevant authorities,” the report said. “The central Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change should monitor this important aspect to effectively fight forest fires,” he said.

The committee observed that on its recommendation to undertake a field survey to determine or identify the total area or land available in the country for afforestation, the Ministry of the Environment simply stated that it had taken note of observation of the panel.

“The committee recommends that the ministry provide its response to the above recommendation of the committee and indicate the measures taken in the matter,” he said.

It also recommended that the necessary measures in this regard be taken as soon as possible so that the field survey can provide the necessary data to the state governments to define the necessary strategies to undertake afforestation activities in their respective states. The panel also observed that the toilet requirement for people in the Corbett Tiger Reserve area should be given priority.

The genuine demands of the local people of the Corbett Tiger Reserve should be administratively considered by local authorities, he recommended, noting that the ministry had given its response on the matter with reference to the Tiger Reserve of Corbett. Tadoba Andhari instead of Corbett Tiger Reserve. “The requirement of toilets for the inhabitants of the region must be given priority. In addition, the necessary measures must also be taken to provide an appropriate system of garbage disposal and solid waste management,” the panel said.

“The committee observes that although the committee’s recommendation was made in the context of the Corbett Tiger Reserve, the Ministry provided its response with reference to the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. The committee recommends that the Ministry of ‘Environment provides its answer in the right context,’ he said.

The panel said the ministry simply noted its observation to make every effort to protect and conserve invaluable forests, wildlife as well as biodiversity and to seek cooperation from all state and Union governments and other stakeholders to ensure that the country does not lag behind. in this monumental task.

“The committee recommends that the ministry provide its response to the above recommendation of the committee,” he said.

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