Kiran wants stepped up efforts to increase forest cover from the present 19 per cent to 33 per cent in the State
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has suggested life sentence for destruction of forest and wildlife, if need be, as part of stringent measures against culprits.
Addressing the 64the Vanamahotsav celebrations at Kandlakoi village in Medchal mandal here on Monday, Mr. Reddy wanted provisions of law to be changed to impose life imprisonment on people harming forest and wildlife. The Police and Forest departments were already working in coordination to check smuggling of forest wealth. The smugglers were cutting trees in the forest because the wood fetched good prices.
For earning Rs. 30,000 to 40,000, the farmers were cutting tamarind trees that were 40 to 50 years old, he said and sought steps to make people plant at least ten trees for cutting old trees. He wanted efforts to be stepped to see that the forest cover, now at 19 per cent of geographic area of the State, was raised to 33 per cent.
Forest Minister S. Vijayaramaraju said though it was 64 year of Vanamahotsav, the programme did not deliver good results, but praised the efforts to step up greenery in Hyderabad where the coverage was 74 per cent.
Adilabad MLA Jogu Ramanna called upon students to take up tree plantation in the right earnest. He said each student should plant at least one sapling on his or her birthday. The MLA was participating as the chief guest at the Vanamahotsav celebrations at the Social Welfare Residential School here. He stressed the need for improving forest cover for controlling pollution. Earlier, students took out a rally. The Forest Department gave away prizes to winners of essay competition.
Collector (in-charge) K. Harshavardhan formally launched the programme by planting a sapling on the Government Polytechnic College for Boys grounds. He called upon volunteers, officials and non-officials to plant saplings at the premises of schools, colleges, temples, government offices on either side of R & B and panchayat raj roads and also wherever the land was available. He also said that mere planting of saplings was not enough and they should also take care of their survival.
District Collector Salomon Arokiaraj and Superintendent of Police Kranthi Rana Tata inaugurated Vanamahotsavam programme here at the newly constructed district police office on Monday by planting saplings. He advised the people to plant as many saplings as possible and nurture them till they grew up as trees would prevent environmental hazards. Divisional Forest Officer Srikanteswar Reddy said that three lakh saplings were planted so far in the district and another two lakh would be planted before the end of Vanamahotsavam programme.