Hyderabad: In its attempts to strengthen efforts to protect forest wealth, the State government has decided to recruit manpower and fill up vacancies in the Forest Department.
On the occasion of the Forest Martyrs Day, on Monday, the department officials said already the State government had issued notification to recruit 1,857 Forest Beat Officers (FBO), 90 Forest Section Officers (FSO) and close to 67 Forest Range Officers (FRO) and fill-up vacancies in the department.
On Monday, Minister for Forest and Environment, Jogu Ramanna, who participated in the Forest Martyrs Day at Nehru Zoological Park, said the department had launched a slew of measures aimed at protecting forest wealth.
To prevent illicit felling of trees, smuggling and encroachment, the department officials have established close to 144 base camps with five local tribal and non-tribal watchers in each camp in interior vulnerable forest areas.
Close to 61 strike forces have been constituted for patrolling in vulnerable areas, 55 forest check posts have been set up to curb smuggling activity. The department officials said that communication charges had also been provided to field level staff in addition to providing 2,142 vehicles to officers and front line staff for mobility and protection of forests.
This year, department officials booked 7,173 Offenses Report (OR) cases worth Rs 2.94 crore of timber. They also collected compounding fee of Rs 10.92 crore apart from seizing 1,495 vehicles. Close to 2,522 Undetected Offence Reports (UDOR) cases have been registered and timber worth Rs 6.92 crore was seized and transported to State-run timber depots.