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DK forest dept grapples with staff shortage

Mangaluru: With chances of wildfires expanding and the forest hearth that singed Bandipur range nonetheless recent in reminiscence, the forest division has its process lower out.
However, the Mangaluru forest division is short-staffed to face such an eventuality.

There is a visual dearth within the strength of group of workers underneath the rank of range forest officer (RFO) – from a deputy range forest officer (DRFO) to a forest watcher – who form the principle points of touch in case of an exigency. The general sanctioned body of workers underneath RFO for Mangaluru division is 271. However, most effective 186 positions are currently stuffed, constituting most effective 68.63% of the full sanctioned strength, in line with knowledge obtained from the department of forests.

In Subrahmanya sub division alone, of the sanctioned strength of 29 DRFOs, as many as 20 positions are vacant. The vast canvas of 58,458 hectares of forest land, the best possible among the 3 subdivisions in Mangaluru division – the opposite two being Puttur and Mangaluru subdivisions – is being maintained by way of most effective 9 DRFOs. The government apathy in opposition to forests can additional be gauged from the truth that those 9 DRFOs are given most effective 40 of the 64 sanctioned forest guards and 10 forest watchers.

The Puttur subdivision is in dire want of another 10 DRFOs with most effective 17 of the sanctioned strength of 27 currently shouldering the accountability of tracking the well being of 37,910 hectares of forests. They are assisted by way of 39 forest guards and 11 watchers.

The Mangaluru subdivision, encompassing 15,027 hectare land in Bantwal and Belthangady, fares somewhat higher on the subject of recruitment with 18 of the 25 DRFO posts being occupied. They are assisted by way of 36 of the sanctioned 39 forest guards and six of the full 10 sanctioned forest watchers.

Officials said the federal government has been recruiting group of workers on a regular basis. However, the dearth is because of the unwillingness of the recruits to serve on this part of the state. “We are now sending recent recruits on precedence to those spaces so the well being of forests on this area, too, is definitely maintained,” V Karikalan, deputy conservator of forests, Mangaluru division, advised TOI.

In a good construction, the sub-division will get 3 anti-fire and anti-poaching watch towers, each at Belthangady, Subrahmanya and Uppinangady. Work bearing on development of these watch towers is sort of completed at Uppinangady and Belthangady whilst the one at Subrahmanya will be able soon, Karikalan said.

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