Forest Minister Satish Jarkiholi said that the government is thinking of procuring helicopters on a rental basis to control forest fires from next summer.
Addressing the media in Chikkamagaluru on Wednesday, Jarkiholi said choppers would help in a speedy response in dousing the fire. Helicopters will be exclusively rented for this purpose for three months in summer.
“Modern equipment would be purchased for the Forest Department. New research centres will also be opened. It has come to the notice of the department that the forest watchers are poorly remunerated by the agencies. Measures will be taken to deposit their salaries to their bank accounts," he said.
The minister said that the Bandipur forest fire was a deliberate act by miscreants. A complaint has been registered in this connection.
Satish Jarkiholi further said that a joint survey will be conducted by the forest and revenue departments to rectify the gomala and deemed forest issue.
The survey would be initiated from Chikkamagaluru on a pilot basis. Underutilised funds from the schemes of the Forest Department will be spent for carrying out the survey.
Private surveyors will be deployed for the work. It has been decided to review the rejected applications submitted for the regularisation of lands.
The families are fearing eviction under the Forest Rights Act. Such families will be permitted to stay if they furnish proper records, he added.