Nainital: The Union Government, which aims to give a thrust on increasing the forest area by 10 crore hectares in the 12th five year plan is likely to take a final decision on a proposal, said Green India Mission Chairman and Chief Conse1rvator of Forests Dr RBS Rawat here on Monday.

In an interaction with journalists, Rawat said, “The 35 per cent increase in the number of tigers in Uttarakhand is a positive and encouraging sign. The illegal deforestation for business purposes will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

Rawat said it has been decided to take experts’ advice in every section of the forest department.

In an effort to maintain the eco-system, Rawat said the plans are afoot to increase the forest area in the country.

The amendment is being made in the Forest Act, 1927 on the pattern of the Forest Policy, 1988. The proposal for simplification of regulations has been sent to government.

Rawat said the orders have been passed to give Rs 2 lakh to the relatives of deceased and Rs 50,000 to people who were injured in the attack of wild animals. The compensatory amount would be handed over within 24 hours of the mishap.

In an effort to strengthen the Van Panchayats, the conferences of Sarpanch are being convened on a regular basis. Rawat pointed out that a Task Force has been constituted on the section level to gauge the crop damage done by wild animals.

He said the Union Forest and Environment Ministry has given in- principle nod to the rehabilitation of 342 families of Sunderkhal adjacent to the Corbett Park.

JPN/Bureau