BENGALURU: As ecology plays an important role in the economy, CM Basavaraja Bommai is all set to make a provision in his maiden budget to make up for the losses incurred annually.
"For the first time in history, I am giving a mandate to the forest environment and ecology department to assess the loss and make a provision to recover it," he announced to big applause of the department's officials at Aranya Bhavana on the martyr's day.
"It's frightening to know that the ecological degradation occurred in the 2,000 years equivalent to that of the last two decades. None assesses ecological loss but now the forest and environment department should start the total green loss every year so that budgetary allocation will be made accordingly", he instructed.
The CM said he was hopeful that the decision will help the recovery of 50 to 60%t of the loss and ensure a sustainable life for the next generation. The CM was particular about the increase in the green cover as the state has 43 lakh hectares(21.5%) lags behind the national average which is at 33%.
Afforestation means not just planting the saplings but involves a holistic approach of safeguarding the natural resources that we have to pass it to the next generation, he remarked. " If we do not take measures to stop the ecological degradation it amounts to stealing from the future", he remarked.
It may be noted here that the Centre for Ecological Sciences(CES), Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, has been urging the governments to assess the ecological loss and make a budget.
Meanwhile, the CM suggested the officers work out a strategy to check the human-animal conflict as the lives of humans is of as much importance and instructed them to consider even the civilians who lost their lives as martyrs and read out their names along with the forest departments during the next martyr's day.
As a parting shot, the CM thanked his predecessor BS Yediyurappa for increasing the compensation up to Rs 30 lakh to the kins of the forest officials martyred on duty.
He also recalled the sacrifice of IFS officer P Srinivas who was shot dead by forest brigand Veerappa during 1991 at the prime of his career at the age of 37.
" These sacrifices mean a lot in saving our natural resources and if at all there were no such struggles there would have been more damage to the forests", he pointed out.
Later the CM held a separate meeting of officials on high tea about various issues especially of the man-elephant conflicts in the Kodagu and Sakleshpur region which may come up in the assembly sessions that will begin on Monday.