Increasing forest cover a priority with State Government : Lal Chand Kataruchak

Says, Zero tolerance towards corruption, Presides over meeting with Forest Workers Union

Chandigarh : “The Punjab Government is leaving no stone unturned to bring the maximum possible area under forest cover so as to ensure a clean and healthy environment for the present as well as coming generations besides breducing the pollution levels”. These views were expressed today at Sector-68, Mohali by the Forest and Wildlife Preservation Minister Mr. Lal Chand Kataruchak while presiding over a meeting with the representatives of the Forest Workers Union.The Minister on the occasion said that the State Government is contemplating planting of saplings on the Phagwara-Chandigarh Highway. He further said that the Government would choose such places viz. schools, hospitals and the dispensaries where they can be taken care of well. Apart from this, the tubewell owners in the State would be handed over 5-10 saplings for planting purposes in order to make way for green surroundings.

He also emphasized the increased and constructive participation of the D.F.Os in the mission.iving a patient hearing to the demands of the union representatives, the Minister said that as far as the matter of promotions from Class-IV to Class-III is concerned, today itself orders have been issued for promotions of 11 Forest Guards, 7 Clerks and 2 Drivers and the minimum height requirement in respect of Forest Guards has been reduced from 167 Centimeters to 165 Centimeters. He also said that the matter of regularizing the services of 72 employees who had completed 10 years in 2006, is also under active consideration by the Government.Divulging more, the minister said that as far as the matter of non-payment of the salaries under various schemes, is concerned, the same have been paid till March 31 whereas the salary pertaining to the Months of April and May would be paid in June.

He also said that one installment of arrears of the work rates regarding the departmental works has been paid to the employees till March 31. The issue of increasing the work rates is also being considered sympathetically, added the Minister.Citing zero tolerance towards corruption, the minister stated that this menace would not be tolerated at any cost and the State Government has even made public a toll free number to lodge complaints against the corrupt practices. He also said that the matter of EPF deduction of each worker is also under consideration.Among others present on the occasion included Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Praveen Kumar, Special Secretary Mr. Rajiv Parashar and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Mr. R.K. Mishra.


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