Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday slammed the officials of the Environment and Forest Department for their lack of new ideas and zeal to achieve growth.
The Chief Minister directed the department to get its act together to remove the bad impression of the department among the people of the state.
Issuing directives to the department for reducing the elephant deaths that have taken place frequently in the recent times, he said that communication must be sent of central government for constructing over-bridges and other such provisions at elephant corridors.
Ministry of Railways must also be taken onboard for mitigating elephant casualties due to railway tracks passing through the corridors of the pachyderm, he said.
Sonowal also said that a lot of railway lines have been laid in the state earlier without any planning as in the case near Deepor Beel because of which elephants have been harmed.
Taking strong note of rampant irregularities taking place in supply of construction materials such as sands, stone chips etc in connivance of forest officials with the contractors, the Chief Minister expressed dismay over the state of affairs and directed the department to register criminal cases with police against those who are blatantly flouting the norms.
“We will not tolerate such callous attitude of department officials and put all those behind bars who are looting the public by running syndicate and passing 5-6 sand trucks against a single challan which allows only one,” he said.
The government will go after all those corrupt officials of the department who amassed huge wealth through illegal means, he warned.
He also directed the department to take action for installing GPS devices in the trucks within two months failing which trucks would not be allowed to carry construction materials.
Sonowal also ordered that all payments and orders of forest department should be made online in the lines of excise department for bringing transparency and plugging the loopholes.
The Chief Minister also directed the department to build world class guest house at Manas National Park and to upgrade the existing guest house at Mathanguri inside the park with modern amenities and equip it with solar panels.
He also directed the department to take action for building an international convention centre near the park. Instructing the Additional Chief Secretary of Environment and Forest Department Alok Kumar to make a world class film to showcase the natural beauty of the state and its forest resources, Sonowal said that a top quality production house must be engaged in the work so that true picture of the state’s natural splendour is given to the outsiders.