April 8, 2021 10:08:33 am
The Haryana forest and wildlife department Wednesday decided to merge the manpower of its two wings — wildlife wing and territorial forest department — for tackling the acute shortage of manpower in both the wings, which have been working independently since the beginning.
Sources said the decision was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Haryana), V S Tanwar.
The wildlife wing of the state has a strength of merely 77 personnel, including wildlife inspectors, sub- inspectors, rangers and wildlife guards. As regards forest department personnel, the strength is around 1,710 personnel. There are over one dozen districts in Haryana, where there is no permanent wildlife inspectors, sub-inspectors for looking after the matter related to the wildlife wing. Although during the rescue operations for the wild animals, forest department personnel got involved, the scope for the wildlife is very high in the state.
PCCF Tanwar confirmed the development and said, “Haryana is among a few states which followed the concept of different wings of forest and wildlife but both the wings work under a common umbrella. We have started the process of merging the ground level personnel of both the wings into one. In this way, personnel of both the wings will work as per the requirement of the situation. Forest and wildlife are interlinked. The wildlife only prospers in the healthy forest. Indeed, this concept will require basic training of all the activities, including forestry and wildlife management for the personnel. We are working on all the aspects. Chief Wildlife Warden, Haryana, Jagdish Chander, is working on this front.”
A forest officer requesting anonymity said, “Earlier, efforts were made to merge the personnel of both the wings into one cadre. There are several reasons why personnel of wildlife wing prefer to work independently and want to stay separate from the forest department personnel. There is a presumption that if they will merge into the forest department, their seniority will be affected adversely. We have decided to make some arrangements so that their seniority and other benefits are not affected.”
The total forest and tree cover area of Haryana is around 7 per cent of its geographical area. Out of the total forest area of state, 20 per cent of the area is covered under Protected Area Network. The state has two national parks, eight wildlife sanctuaries, two conservation reserves, one community reserve and three mini-zoos. Most of the forest area of Haryana is under Shivalik Hills covering the districts of Panchkula and Yamunanagar. Aravali Hills cover the area of Gurugram.
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