In a move that has baffled activists, the Environment and Forest department has given its nod for filling up vacant posts of Rangers in the State by appointing retired range officers instead of direct recruitment of young talent.
According to a government order, the retired rangers could be appointed in Extension, Social Forestry, Plantation, Research, Working Plan wings and for other special duties. The order further said that their work would be assigned by the District Forest Officers / Conservator of Forests concerned.A GO dated December 27, 2012 has cleared such a proposal of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests sent to the government last September.
There are more than 100 vacancies in the department and applications from most of the districts have been received by the Committee members. The Committee is yet to receive application from few more districts. Surprised by the announcement, the Tamil Nadu Green Movement Coordinator K. Mohan Raj said it was shocking that the Tamil Nadu Forest department was offering employment opportunities to retired officers.