The CM has issued instructions to set up flying squads and armed policemen to keep a watch over forests in the state.

If TRS leaders smuggle wood action should be taken Telangana CM KCR
news Administration Sunday, January 27, 2019 - 11:27

Smugglers of forest wood and timber in the state will now be booked under Preventive Detention (PD) Act, said Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who has called for new environmental law and an amendment to the forest act in the state to protect forests.

The PD Act has been used by the Telangana police in the past to book child traffickers, brothel operators and wIth the CM’s nod, the scope of the Act will now be used to book forest encroachers and wood smugglers. Those booked under the PD Act can be detained for a maximum period up to one year while they face trial.

The decision was taken by the CM at a review meeting with police and forest officials on Saturday. The CM is also considering amending the forest act in the state, but did not clarify on what the amendments will be.

Presently, in Telangana, the intelligence wing identifies those who illegally fell trees and smuggle wood from the forest. The CM has issued instructions to set up flying squads and armed policemen to keep a watch over forests in the state.

He has also instructed forest officials to set up more checkposts surrounding forest areas. “Only when there is 33% of greenery then there would be environment equilibrium. In Telangana, according to official data, there are 24% forests but in effect, it would be only 12%. In forest areas, the situation is not so encouraging and very pathetic,” the CM said.

“Unless environment equilibrium is not maintained it is difficult for the human being to exist,” KCR added, and said that there was no point in conducting programmes like Haritha Haram when smugglers are destroying forests.

He also directed officials to take action against smugglers even if they are influential or tied to his own party, “In case if TRS leaders or workers are involved in smuggling, action should be taken against them,” said KCR while talking to reporters after his review meet.

According to KCR, trees must be grown in rural areas on a large scale, and for planting and protecting saplings, changes were brought to the Panchayat Raj Act.

For urban areas, the CM said, “in cities like Hyderabad, Warangal and others, we need to grow trees on large scale. We need to identify forest blocks there and convert them into parks and provide walking tracks”.

In order to collect funds, the CM said that a green cess will be collected, a donation would be taken from public representatives, and that a ‘green fund’ would be created for this purpose.