“The law will take its course,” said Ramanath Rai, Minister for Forests and Environment, in response to a question about Congress MLAs who were named by investigating agencies for their involvement in illegal mining.

“It will be the same for cases of forest encroachment,” the Minister said to another question.

He said the department would not spare any officer involved in encroachment of forest land. To a question, he said he was not putting pressure on officials nor was he interfering with the department’s administration.

Mr. Rai said that recruitment to the department had been halted as the State government was waiting for Presidential assent for the notification on reservation of posts as per the amendment to Article 371-J of the Constitution.

Earlier, he inaugurated an urban tree park in Naubad on Bhalki Road, 6 km away from the city. The 40-hectare park has over 12,000 trees. The park can serve as a picnic spot as well as a research spot for students of botany, forestry or horticulture.

Around Rs. 30 lakh had been spent on the first stage. The park now has two pagoda-like shelters, 15 concrete benches and a separate play area for children. An additional sum of Rs. 90 lakh will be spent on the park.

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