BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik handed over appointment letters to 48 Assistant Conservators of Forests and 111 Range Officers at a State-level function on ‘Human Resource Development and Capacity Building in Forest and Environment Department’ organised here on Saturday.
The candidates have been selected by Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) and it is for the first time that such a special drive for recruitment of officers was taken up in the State. The appointment of 159 officials through direct recruitment will help bridge the gap in vacancies at the level of executing and supervising officers.
Speaking on the occasion, Naveen highlighted that Government’s conservation and plantation initiatives and said it resulted in increased forest cover of 900 sq km in a short span of time, since 2015 assessment.
As per the State Forest Report - 2017 published by the Centre, the total forest and tree cover in the State is spread over 55,338 sq km which is 35.34 per cent of the total geographical area and much above the national average of 21.54 per cent.
“Odisha is rich in forest and bio-diversity. It is significant that the forest area in the State is increasing and it is a good trend. Implementation of joint forest management initiatives with active involvement of local people has been crucial for the rise in forest cover,” he said. Naveen said strengthening the workforce through regular appointments and technical training for all employees are essential for sustainable management of forests and conservation of environment. “It will be our endeavour to fill up the vacant posts in all the cadres in a time-bound manner,” he assured.
Forest and Environment Minister Bijayashree Routray, Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, Secretary in Forest and Environment Department Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, PCCF Subash Chandra Mishra and CCF Rajiv Kumar were present.