PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry government has plans to set up a force to prevent crimes relating to wildlife, forest and illegal trade, revealed Forest Minister T Thiagarajan here on Thursday.
Delivering the inaugural address at the two-day Capacity Building Programme for the Forest and Police officers, he said the Forest Department has plans to form “service placement” force, consisting of 20 India Reserve Battalion, led by a Sub-inspector, to prevent and combat crimes relating to forests. He said the Department has planned the formation of the force to thwart anti-socials, illegal traders of animals, and animal products from using the UT as their base, despite the fact that Puducherry do not have forest cover. He said the increase in population, urbanisation and developmental activities have reduced the areas of forest and the anti-socials, and illegal traders in animals have taken advantage to flourish. The Programme is being organised by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of Union Ministry of Environment. P Devaraj Forest Service officer, said illegal wildlife trade is on the rise and it was estimated that $10 billion worth illegal trade take place annually in the world. People take to illegal trade because of the low risk and high profit involved, he added.
WCCB Regional Director S R V Murthy, said the programme will enable the officers of police and forests to get familiarise with laws relating to forest and wildlife. More than 50 officers of police, including those from Cuddalore and Villupuram, are also attending.