Strict action against forest encroachers

Strict action will be taken against encroachers who have built resorts in reserve forests and sensitive ecological regions for tourism purpose, said Forest and Environment Department Minister B Ramanath Rai.

He was speaking to mediapersons during his visit to the Forest Training Centre at Gungaragatti near here on Thursday. “The Forest department is constantly engaged in recovering its land. If the encroachment is more than 10 acres, a survey is conducted and steps are taken to recover the land at the earliest, Rai added.

Encroachers in Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks, who have built resorts will be punished irrespective of their political connections, he said and added that the department would take up fencing work around the forest areas.

Rai said the Government will soon issue a notification for recruitment to 700 vacant posts in the department. The recruitment has been delayed as separate reservation needs to be given for aspirants from Hyderabad-Karnataka region following the according of special status by the Centre, he added.

The Forest minister remained indecisive when mediapersons asked as to which one of the reports, submitted by Madhava Gadgil and Kasturirangan, on the conservation of Western Ghats will be implemented by the government.

He said it was not possible to say which was right and which was wrong.

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