2,817 animals died in Odisha’s forests in last five years

As many as 2,817 wild animals, including four tigers, have died in forests across Odisha in the last five years.

Bhubaneswar: As many as 2,817 wild animals, including four tigers, have died in forests across Odisha in the last five years.

The information was revealed by the Minister of Forest, Environment and Climate Change Department, Pradip Kumar Amat in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

While answering a question asked by BJP leader Kusum Tete, he said that 430 elephants, four tigers, 31 leopards and 2,352 other animals died during 2018-19 and 2022-23.

He informed the House that the animals died due to different diseases, train and road accidents, electrocution, poaching and poisoning etc.

The maximum number of deaths has been reported in the Dhenkanal forest division and Chilika Wildlife Division.

As many as 231 animals died in the forests of Dhenkanal while 220 died under the Chilika Wildlife Division.

On the other hand, different types of trees in 13,571.164 hectares of forest land have been cut down for non-forest works.

The government initiated plantation in 15,749.930 hectares of forest land for afforestation purposes. The government has spent Rs 113.50 crore for compensatory afforestation during 2018 to 2022.

Meanwhile, data produced by Amat while answering to a question asked by BJD MLA Prasanta Behera revealed that a large number of posts under different categories are lying vacant in the forest department.

As many as 210 posts are lying vacant out of the sanctioned 492 grade-A posts in the state forest department.

Similarly, 410 posts in grade-B, 4001 in grade-C and 437 in grade-D are lying vacant against the sanctioned strength of 759, 10,378, and 992 respectively in the respective grades.

As many as 24 Assistant Conservators of Forest are receiving training at the Central Academy for State Forest Service (CASFOS), Dehradun who will join the service soon after completion of the training period.

He said the government has taken steps to fill up another 45 Assistant Conservator of Forest posts soon. Similarly, 29 Forest Rangers are getting training at the Odisha Forest Rangers’ College, Angul while steps have been taken for the appointment of 131 new Forest Rangers.

As many as 806 Forest Guards have been deployed in different forest divisions recently and the remaining 1,677 forest guard vacancies are in the process of being filled.

The process has also been started to fill up 317 Junior Assistant posts in different districts.

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