In a review meeting of the Forest Department held late evening on Monday, Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has directed officials to expedite the cases of Forest clearances so that the work on flagship projects such as Rajiv Gandhi Day Boarding Schools and heliports besides other development projects could be started without delay. He directed the departments to prioritize these projects to benefit the people of the State.
Highlighting the approval received for the proposed Zoological Park (Zoo) matching International standards at Bankhandi in district Kangra, the Chief Minister called for immediate preparatory actions to commence the construction. He stressed for appointing an International-level consultant to ensure that the proposed park meets global standards and provides an enriching experience to the tourists.
While reviewing the ecotourism activities, the Chief Minister said that advertisements would be released shortly to invite leading private players in the sector. Ecotourism sites will be awarded to private companies on cluster and individual basis, generating revenue for the State and creating employment opportunities for locals. He said that the State Government was committed to promote ecotourism as tourism was the key sector for the economy of the state.
Addressing the issue of uprooted trees during the monsoon season, Sh. Sukhu directed the Forest department to promptly remove and dispose of the salvage trees. He emphasized the importance of finalizing, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for enumeration, marking, extraction and disposal trees to minimize revenue loss for the state. The Chief Minister also emphasized the need for afforestation drives besides holding officers accountable for the survival of the planted trees.
Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister, Anirudh Singh, MLA Bhawani Singh Pathania, Chief Secretary, Prabodh Saxena, Principal Secretary Forests Onkar Chand Sharma and Secretary Amandeep Garg, Special Secretary Forest, C.P. Verma, PCCF Rajeev Kumar, Advisor Planning Dr. Basu Sood and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.