Economic growth and environment sustainability should go hand-in-hand: CM

ITANAGAR, Sep 27: “Conservation should not only mean protecting forests and wildlife but also take into account improving the lives of the people living around them,” Chief Minister Pema Khandu said on Friday.
Addressing a meeting with senior officers of the forest department here, Khandu asked the department to “shed its image of a stumbling block to development,” and advised it to “come up with innovative solutions to strike a balance between environment sustainability and economic growth.”
Urging the department to sensitize the people towards conservation, he suggested that conservation-related tourism festivals in the state be taken up by the forest department. “This,” he said, “will be effective in spreading the message of conservation.”
The CM also asked the department to ensure on-time submission of proposals for centrally-sponsored afforestation schemes from the districts.
“This year, funds for CAMPA have been distributed all over the state, unlike earlier times when such funds were limited only to certain areas and on avenue plantation,” he said.
Khandu urged the department to move towards transparency, accountability and efficiency, lamenting that it has “lost its charm by being less active.”
Also noting that despite the central funding for recruitment of a special tiger protection force in the state, the forest department has not been able to utilize the opportunity, he said the matter should be taken up urgently. (CMO)