For the desired quality of life, every citizen must take responsibility for protecting forest and wild animals, observed Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy.
In his first State-wide video conference with the Superintendents of Police and District Forest Officers all over the State, exclusively on forest protection issues, the DGP called for a more active role to be played by police officers in curbing forest offences. He has instructed the police officers right up to the SHO level to respond quickly and show a sense of urgency, whenever attempts are made to encroach forest or fell trees for smuggling or poach wild animals. There should be regular coordination meetings between Forest, Police and Revenue officials so as to ensure better forest protection.
The DGP instructed all the SPs to include forest protection as an agenda item in their monthly crime review meetings. He stressed the need to have village level community outreach programs by the Police in the sensitive areas to bring more awareness amongst the public for forest conservation. Police should also play an active role in educating the public representatives regarding the forest destruction that was taking place.
The DGP has asked the police officers to use the timeline series images of the encroached area using google map so as to communicate the message straight to the heart. He said the police should focus on prevention of forest offences than on merely booking cases. He also exhorted the police to use their vast network of intelligence wing to identify the kingpins involved in encroachment of forest land, smuggling of forest produce and poaching of wild animals and take stringent action against them under the PD Act. The DGP exhorted all the police personnel in the State to actively participate in the 4th phase of Haritha Haram program and make it a big success.
Ajay Mishra, Special Chief Secretary, EFS & T has impressed upon the need to increase the tree cover in the State from 24% to 33% by ensuring that all plants planted under Haritha Haram are well protected and maintained. He stressed the need for more effective forest protection through better inter-departmental co-ordination with Police.
P.K. Jha, Principal CCF sought co-operation of police personnel in curbing encroachment, smuggling and poaching activities more effectively. He stated that his department was demarcating the forest boundary permanently through the continuous peripheral trench and sought police assistance in accomplishing this in encroachment prone areas.
Akbar CCF, Warangal, made a presentation regarding the impact of forest destruction for cultivation by showing the loss of forest since 2011 in a timeline series. The video conference was attended by senior officers from the Forest and Police departments.