Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh laid foundation stone for office complex of Divisional Forest Officer, Samba at Mansar Morh, here this afternoon.The complex, to be constructed by the Forest Department with an estimated cost of Rs. 58 lakhs is expected to be completed within one year.Member Legislative Assembly Devinder Manyal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Ravi Kesar, Chairman State Pollution Control Board B Sidhartha Kumar, Director Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing O P Sharma, Director Social Forestry Ashwani Gupta, Director Forest Protection Force Asif Mehmood Sagar, Director Soil and Water Conservation Javed Iqbal Punjoo, Chief Conservator of Forests Farooq Gillani, District Development Commissioner Sheetal Nanda, Regional Director Wildlife Warden Dr. V S Sinthil Kumar, Regional Director State Pollution Control Board Ch Showkat Ali, Conservator East Circle Kh Qamar-ud-Din,Joint Director Soil and Water Conservation Pawan Kudyar,besides other senior officers of Forests and its allied wings were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Choudhary Lal Singh said that it is an endeavor of the Government to create better infrastructural facilities in every nook and corner of the State and working environment in all the Government departments enabling the officers and officials to perform their duties more efficiently. He said better environment in the offices is must for achieving the desired goals and better service delivery to the people.Appreciating the role of the Forest and its allied wings in guarding the forest wealth, the Minister said that the organization has been specifically created for the purpose and it is expected that the Forest force will put in strenuous efforts to protect forests across the State.Choudhary Lal Singh said that a large chunk of forest land has been illegally occupied by certain people and it is mandate of each wing of the department to retrieve the same and maintain the ecology and environment.
Regarding retrieval of land from land grabbers, the Minister directed the officers of forest department to immediately start the fencing work on the land and develop the same with plants for avoiding further encroachments.The Minister said Forest Department has developed 1233 forest closures with ornamental, fruit and medicinal plants in the State. He called upon all ranks of the department to put in their best efforts in curbing the activities of the timber smugglers and land grabbers to save the precious green gold.Choudhary Lal Singh said that the Government has already constituted a Committee of senior officers headed by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to suggest measures to further improve the functioning of Forest and its allied wings, adding that after submission of the findings of the Committee, the Government will take appropriate steps.