The “Forest Martyrs Day” was observed today statewide to pay homage to all those forest officials who have laid their lives in protecting the Forest Wealth and the Wildlife in the State.
In this connection, the caretaker Minister for Forest and Backward Classes Jogu Ramanna paid rich tributes by placing a wreath at the martyrs’ memorial in the Aranya Bhavan in the city today.
The significance of the day is to remember the sacrifices of those 360 people of ‘Bishnoi’ community in Rajasthan who ended their lives protecting Khejri trees in ‘Kejrali’ village in 1730. Ever since the government of India has been observing the day as the “Forest Martyrs Day” in memory of the Forest Officers and Staff died in executing their responsibilities.
Telangana State has lost at least 21 officers of various cadres since 1984 while protecting the forests and wildlife in the state. They have given up their lives so that we all can enjoy the beauty of nature, including the future generation. In this connection, the list of achievements made by the forest officials in the state has been furnished for ready reference.
- During the year 2017-18 Forest staff has booked (9025) No. of OR cases worth of Rs. 4.05 Crores of Timber and collected Compounding Fee of Rs.12.59 Crores apart from seizing (1923) Nos. of vehicles. In addition (3268) Nos. of UDOR cases have been registered worth of Rs.7.85 Crores of timber value and transported to the Government Timber Depots.
- The Government have issued notification for the direct recruitment of (1857) Forest Beat Officers, (90) Forest Section Officers and (67) Forest Range Officers posts to fill the vacancies in the Department. It is in the final stage.
- Various initiatives have been taken for the protection of Forest Wealth in the State with the active participation of the people which is as follows:-
- 145 Base camps with 5 local tribal/non-tribal watchers in each camp have been established in interior vulnerable forest areas to prevent illicit felling of trees, smuggling and encroachment.
- 62 Strike Forces have been constituted for patrolling in vulnerable areas.
- 58 Forest Check posts are established and maintained for curbing smuggling activity.
- Communication charges are provided to grass root level staff (ABO/FBO/FSO).
- 2173 vehicles have been provided to the Officers and frontline staff for mobility and protection of forests i.e. (2008) two-wheelers from FBOs to DROs, (110) Mahendra Tar jeeps to FROs, (26) Mahendra Scorpios to DFOs, (3) Mahendra Bolero to FDOs, (10) Innovas, (10) Honda city and (6) Fortuners.
- The provisions of the PD Act are applied to notorious and habitual Teak wood smugglers.
- The Government of Telangana is implementing Telangana Ku Haritha Haram as one of its flagship programme and the only of its kind in the country in order to achieve the National goal of 33% of the Geographical area under tree cover in the state. This year Government has already allocated a planned budget of (130 ) Crores to the Department to achieve the objective. As part of various afforestation programmes under Telangana Ku Haritha Haram, an area of 4914 hectares of block plantation and 1490 kilometres of Avenue has been taken up during this year and so far about 34.00 Crores seedlings have been planted with the participation of people.
- Thus, on the occasion of ‘Forest Martyrs Day,’ we pledge to re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of Forest Protection and development of green cover of the State. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I salute all those Martyrs who laid their lives to make a better future for the coming generations.