On Saturday, a foundation stone will be laid to build a new forest training institute, the first in the biodiversity rich western Maharashtra.
The institute is of importance considering that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has constituted a special Western Ghats ecology experts panel.
The panel will recommend steps to protect the forests’ rich region, a part of which falls in Maharashtra.
The MoEF has also instructed the state governments to improve and train their department staff with special concentration to be laid on preservation, conservation and rejuvenation of the ecologically sensitive and significant region.
To be kicked off by forests minister Patangrao Kadam, the institute will be in Kundal at Sangli and train forest guards and foresters through short and long term courses.
“We did not have any such institute in the western region and training people from this region will be useful in protecting forests around Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Kolhapur where there is a dearth of trained staff,” said Kadam.
The institute, which will take off in the next one year, will be able to train about 60 students. The state has set aside Rs1.5 crore as an initial cost for the institute and has a total budget of Rs14 crore set aside for the same.