Recognition for forest staff

Govt may institute award for those risking their lives

Disclosing this at an event organised to mark Forest Martyrs’ Day, here on Wednesday, Minister for Forests C H Vijayashankar said the award would be to give recognition to the personnel of the department who face several risks while discharging their duties.

Every year, Forest Martyrs Day is observed on November 10, in memory of late Deputy Conservator of Forest P Srinivas, who was beheaded by forest brigand late Veerappan.

The minister said: “We are planning awards for each rank of the Forest Department personnel for the best three in service. The details for presenting the awards are still being finalised and a separate wing has been created for drafting the list of winners and to chalk out the fine points for the award.”

Extraordinary service

Vijayashankar said the award will be extended to civilians providing extraordinary service in protecting environment.

“We will even extend these awards to the people who have developed best nurseries and best estates across the State,” he added.

Karnataka boasts of enormous forest land amounting to 22.5 per cent of the State’s topography.

The State has been able to conserve and protect it, thanks to the hard work and brave efforts of the martyrs who laid their lives in protecting the wildlife and environment, the minister said.

Accounting the deaths of Forest officials, it is stated that as many as 34 officials have died over the years in the line of duty. Apart from the slain Deputy Conservator of Forest P Srinivas, four range forest officers, five foresters, five watchers, a veterinary officer, a daily wage worker and 15 guards have laid their lives in protecting the State’s forests.

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