Thiruvananthapuram: Plans to set up new monitoring stations and emergency response teams (RRTs) have been blocked by the Ministry of Finance, despite the multifaceted challenges facing the Kerala Forestry Department as wildlife threats continue to grow. ing.
The Forest Service planned to open 40 forest stations and seven RRTs to improve services to protect the public from attacks by wild animals that stray into residential areas. These plans were submitted to the Ministry of Finance five years ago and have yet to receive approval, despite four dunning letters sent in the intervening period.
The Treasury Department cited the country’s pervasive financial crisis as the reason for not denying the sanctions. There was no decision on the file even after the Forest Service revised its recommendations and cut the number of Forest Service offices from his 40 to 20.
The Treasury Department returned the files a month ago, noting that new funding sources had to be found to set up forest stations and form RRTs.
It was in 2018 that then-Forest Minister K Raju first recommended a new forest station and RRT. The proposal was in response to an increase in wildlife attacks in the state. Initially, the Treasury Department filed back that creating a position for recruitment with the RRT would be a financial burden. The Forest Service devised an alternative and wrote another letter seeking approval that the services of Beet forest officers, selected from the tribal community, could be used for RRT, but to no avail. The Ministry of Finance also did not approve.
The Forest Service has again submitted its recommendation for urgent approval of at least seven RRT units, one for each district. The proposal has since been further revised, reducing the number of requested forest stations to 20. Yet the Ministry of Finance remained unmoved. The files were then returned.
The request was brought to the Prime Minister’s attention, after which CM sent a memo to the Ministry of Finance. However, no further action has been taken against it.