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Field staff crunch hits forest department

 


Times of India
Sanjay Ojha, TNN
Jan 30, 2012

RANCHI: The state forest department here is facing acute shortage of field staff, while it has 20 chief conservator of forests.

Sources in forest department said, in mid-1970s there used to be one chief conservator of forest, who managed the entire state. To assist him, there were middle-level officers and an army of forest guards and rangers.

"At present over 80% post of forest guards and rangers are vacant but instead of appointing them, the state government has notified appointment of 20 officers in the rank of chief conservator of forests to supervise various projects," said sources.

An officer in the department confided that when there is no one to protect the forest at the lowest level, then appointment at senior positions is of no use. The cadre strength of Indian Forest Service (IFS) was also recently increased from 130 to 145.

There are just 950 forest guards in the state against sanctioned strength of 3,368 and 530 rangers against total post of 1062. "If the forest department will not appoint these officers at the lowest level then days are not far off when there will be no jungle and managers will sit in their air conditioned offices with no work in hand," said an officer.


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