Bill tabled in Sikkim Assy for special eco-task forest guards

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Gangtok, Jun 9 (UNI) Sikkim Forest Minister S B Subedi today tabled a bill in the Assembly to constitute and regulate a force for better protection and security of the forests, forest produce, environment and wildlife of the state.

The Bill- Sikkim (Constitution of Special Eco-Task Forest Guards) -was tabled along with 14 other bills, including three amendment bills, during the first day of the two-day Assembly Session.

Stating that Sikkim is a biodiversity hotspot, Mr Subedi said the forest cover, which extends to 46 per cent of the geographical area of the state, is responsible for maintaining the natural resources that is being used by the state for its economic development.

Preservation of the forest cover and its improvement is of paramount importance for climate moderation, land and soil stability, as well as to sustain the state's economic base, he said, while introducing the Bill.

The state government has deemed it expedient to constitute a special forest protection force with the mandate to check forest, environment and wildlife offences in the field itself, Subedi said.

The eco-task forest force will be rapidly deployed to such areas that need special attention and will be trained and equipped to deal with forest offenders efficiently, he added.

Voting and discussions on the Bill will take place tomorrow.

UNI BG KK SBC RN856

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