Minister for Forests C.H. Vijayashankar has said the State Government will announce some 50 major changes in the State forest policy within a month. This includes steps for development of forests and greening areas coming under urban local bodies.
Speaking to presspersons on Tuesday, the Minister said a presentation would be made to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath for getting Government approval to the changes.
Mr. Vijayashankar said he had directed the Urban Development Department to save mango, coconut and other horticultural farms from acquisition proceedings, if the farmers gave an undertaking to retain them. Later, if the farmer decided to convert his land for non-agricultural purposes, then the Government would have the right to acquire it.
He said the Principal Secretary (Forests) had been asked to direct the corporation and city municipal councils to earmark funds in their budgets for raising trees, before cutting any road-side trees. Approval for any layout would be given only after the urban development authority or the private entrepreneur earmarked funds for maintaining greenery.
The Minister said systematic planting of saplings had not been carried out in Mysore. Wherever non-forest areas could be brought under forests, it would be considered. A monthly journal would be brought out by his department to highlight its programmes and projects.
Vacant posts would be filled in six months.