Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said that the government was formulating a special policy on Podu lands.
Speaking in the Telangana Legislative Assembly on Friday, the Chief Minister said that there were 66 lakh acres of forest lands in the state and reports have already been prepared on forest lands. If the leaders of all the parties agree, 11.5 lakh acres would be distributed. He expressed his sorrow over the widespread cutting of forests in the state in the past and said that attacks on forest officials were uncalled for. He also advised that it was not appropriate to politicize the forest lands issue every time.
The Chief Minister said that the Podu Land survey had been completed. The chief minister announced that the distribution of wastelands would start at the end of February. He said that after distribution, they would be provided with Rythu Bandhu, electricity and irrigation facilities. He said that the Tribals who receive the lands would have to ensure that they would protect those lands. He said that only if the Tribals give the guarantee of not felling the trees, they would be handed over the lands. He said that landless Tribals would be provided with financial help on par with Dalit Bandhu.
CM KCR said that discussions have been going on around the world on environmental protection and it was a crucial matter for the Telangana government as well. He clarified that there was no doubt that the rights of the Tribals must be protected. He expressed concern over the encroachment of Tribal lands and forest lands. He asked whether the State should have forest wealth or should it disappear. “We have all seen how the Narsapur forest became a desert. The process of rejuvenating the forests is going on and the green cover has increased by 7.8 per cent in the state and is winning accolades in the country,” he said. (INN)