‘Dept needs more hands to protect forests’ | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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‘Dept needs more hands to protect forests’

The Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Commission will recruit 1,218 forest guards this year, but the department needs more hands for conservation of forests in the state, feel officials

dehradun Updated: Aug 04, 2017 20:33 IST
Nihi Sharma
Forest guards on patrol duty.
Forest guards on patrol duty. (HT Photo)

The Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Commission will recruit 1,218 forest guards this year, but the department needs more hands for conservation of forests in the state, feel officials.

The forest department officials said the 1,218 vacancies were listed on July 1, 2016, the time recruitment year begins in Uttarakahnd. Since then the vacancies have increased to around 1,500 due to sudden demise, retirement and even voluntary retirement of a few staff members during the one-year time, they said.

“The delay in the (recruitment) process always leaves a gap,” Monish Mullick, chief conservator of forest (CCF), human resource and development and personnel management, told Hindustan Times. Mullick said the number of field staff isn’t satisfactory as per the requirement and the delay in appointments further creates more vacant positions.

There are 3,650 positions of field staff in Uttarakhand. While appointment on 90% of the positions is done through direct recruitment, remaining 10% are filled through the promotion of grade-4 employees.

According to the rules, there should be one forest guard in each beat and an additional force to meet the exigencies. There are over 3,000 beats in reserve and civil soyam forest areas and many of the beats require two guards due to their large size. This indicates that there is a need for revising the number of field staff.

“The department needs thousands of people during forest fire season. In monsoon, we need staff to patrol in every inch of the forest. There’s a need of revision of field staff structure at least in sync with the healthy forest cover,” said RR Penuilly, general secretary of forest guards association.

The new staff undertakes compulsory field training of six months at one of the three centres in Haldwani, Rampur Mandi or Kalagarh. After that at least one year of training is required to thoroughly prepare them for challenges in the field.

Forest Survey of India Report 2015

Total geographical area of Uttarakhand: 53,683 sqkm

Total forest cover: 24,240 sq km (very dense forest: 4,754 sqkm, moderate dense forest: 13,602 sqkm and open forest: 5884 sqkm)

Forest compared to geographical area: 45.32%

Change in forest cover as compared to 2013 report: -268 sqkm

Total posts of forest guards: 3,650

Total posts to be filled as per July 1, 2016 list: 1218