Wood smuggling from state forest must be brought down to zero: KCR

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday claimed that under no circumstances wood smuggling from the state forest area will be allowed and the same shall be brought down to zero.

Rao instructed the forest officials to take support from the police and with an iron hand, the Preventive Detention Act should be invoked wherever necessary on smugglers who frequently indulge in smuggling forest wood.

“The state shall be divided into four parts and action plan should be drawn for environmental protection,” he added.

The Chief Minister had held a review meeting on environment protection and development of forest area on Monday in Pragathi Bhavan in which Home Minister Mahamood Ali, Chief Advisor to Government Rajiv Sharma, Advisor Anurag Sharma, Chief Secretary SK Joshi, DGP Mahender Reddy, PCCF SK Jha, Senior officers S. Narsing Rao, Rama Krishna Rao, Rajiv Trivedi, Niranjan Rao, Smita Sabharwal, Rajashekhar Reddy, Bhoopal Reddy, Priyanka Verghese and Senior Police and Forest officials also took part.

Rao asserted that the maximum greenery is because of forest and if the same disappears there will be a huge loss.

He said, “Trees grow naturally in the forest areas if these forests disappear slowly there is no use in taking up programmes like Telangana Ku Haritha Haram. Protection of forests means protection of greenery. Due to forest wood smuggling, the forests face a lot of problems.”

Furthermore, he outlined that wood smuggling has become a profession for some people in the state, and said, “For some people, wood smuggling has become a profession, such people need to be identified and action should be taken against them. Forest officials should be deployed and with help of police they should make an action plan and curb this crime and eventually bring it down to zero.”

Moreover, the Chief Minister also alleged that some forest officials had confessed that they provide wood to influential people.

“Forest officials frequently confess that they provide any quantity of wood to certain influential people when they construct their houses. This is possible due to illegal cutting of forests and such an activity should be done away. Management of sawmills also needs to be regularised. Along with forest protection rejuvenation of forests to substitute the loss due to forest felling should also be taken up,” said Rao.

“The number of saplings to be planted as part of Telangana Ku Haritha haram should be increased year after year. During the next monsoon, 100 Crore of saplings should be planted. Action plan for this should be developed “said the CM.

Emphasising on the importance of trees in controlling the pollution, Rao asserted, “In Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Area, there are 1,50,000 acres of forests blocks but there are no forests there. In these blocks, large-scale plantation should be done. There is a lot of air pollution due to a lack of trees in Delhi and excess of vehicles, a similar thing is happening here. In order to avoid this, there is only one solution and that is growing trees.”

Moreover, Rao also claimed that there is no dearth of funds in this regard and by the end of the next three years people in Hyderabad will feel that they are living in a forest area.