Forestry Minister K. Ramachandran conducted a review of the Forestry Department in Salem and Namakkal districts on Tuesday. The Minister said steps were being taken to address grievances from the public residing in the forests in accordance with the law.
Salem Collector S. Karmegham, Namakkal Collector Shreya P.Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sekar Kumar Neeraj, Senior Forest Officials, MPs and MPs attended the review meeting and heard public grievances.
Addressing the review meeting, Mr Ramachandran said measures were being taken subject to the law to provide roads for people living in the forests through which the travel distance could be reduced from 50 km to 3-5km.
Mr Ramachandran told reporters that the state government is working to increase forest cover by 33% and a special purpose vehicle called Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company comprising various departments has been set up.
Regarding the delay in releasing funds for the development of tourist attractions like Agayagangai Falls and Kurumbapatti Zoological Park, Ramachandran accused the previous government of leaving the Ministry of Finance (treasury) empty. “The chief minister has formed a committee including financial experts and the finance minister to resolve the issue,” he said. He added that steps would be taken to develop these attractions.
The public, who took part in the meeting, raised grievances regarding road construction and the provision of pattas. Mr. Ramachandran provided aid worth ₹85.93 lakh to 30 beneficiaries. The minister has published a book on the varieties of ferns found in the Salem forests.
He also honored Mr. Abdul Rahman, R. Lakshmanan, P. Shanmugham, Forester S. Karthik and Ranger V. Kavendiran who recently rescued a woman and child at Annavari Muttal Falls.