Kin of forest personnel dying in duty to get higher solatium of Rs 50 lakh: Bommai – Deccan Herald

The Karnataka government will hike the solatium from the existing Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, aimed at ensuring stability and social security to the families of forest officials who died in the line of duty, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Sunday.
Speaking after paying respects to the persons who laid down their lives in duty, as part of National Forest Martyrs Day-2022 organised by the Forest Department here, he said the state’s forest cover must be increased from the current 21 per cent to 30 per cent.
Pointing out that his predecessor, B S Yediyurappa had hiked the solatium paid to the fallen officials’ families from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, Bommai said the incumbent government will further hike it from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.
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Besides, the government will ensure appointment of the family members to jobs on compassionate grounds and will take care of their welfare with utmost sympathy. “You protect the forest, the government will protect you,” he said.
Noting that the government has plans to increase the forest cover from 21 percent to 30 per cent, the Chief Minister pointed out that Karnataka has over four lakh hectares of barren land and afforestation can be done to increase the forest area.
Karnataka was the first state in the country to present the environment budget and Rs 100 crore has been allocated, he said.
This year, an afforestation program will be taken up at a cost of Rs 100 crore. A special plan has been chalked out by the forest department to conserve the ecologically sensitive areas.
The department has taken special interest to protect natural resources and minimise loss to the environment. By implementing the action plan this year, a new model will be prepared and this would help increase the forest cover, he added.
Further, calling on the forest department to strive towards reducing man-animal conflict, Bommai said the elephant menace in the state is very high and the government has provided Rs 100 crore to evolve a new system in protecting people from them.
Due to climate change, rivers are getting flooded, the rainfall pattern has changed resulting in continuous and heavy rains in some places, the Chief Minister said, adding that there is an emergent need to set right the imbalance in nature.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, had declared September 11 as National Forest Martyrs Day in recognition of the valour and sacrifices made by forest personnel to protect our environment.
The date September 11 was chosen due to its historical significance. On this day in 1730, over 360 people of the Bishnoi tribe led by Amrita Devi, objected to the felling of trees and were killed due to their protest to save the trees in Khejarli, Rajasthan on the orders of the king.
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