Private firms to grow forest produce

Forest Minister C H Vijayashankar told reporters here on Wednesday that the department will take a major portion of about 1.40 lakh acres of forest land that is in the possession of the Karnataka Forest Development Corporation, and allow private sector investment, he added.

He said the aim was to encourage production of forest produce, including medicinal herbs. The department wanted to enter into an agreement with the aspiring companies, the minister said. He said the department would neither sell nor give away the land on lease to the private companies for the purpose.

He said the department has set a target to computerise all its functions by November this year. Starting March this year, it will auction timber auction through an online system.

The department has also decided to appoint six scientists to its research wing, he added.
Besides, Vijayashankar said, last rites of the Forest department officials who die in the line of duty during raids, would be conducted with State honours, on the lines of Armed and police forces.

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