Govt to bring in private forest management policy



Minister for Forest and Environment Rajendra Arlekar on Friday assured the state legislative assembly that the government would soon bring in the state private forest management policy, further informing that the government would rethink on the Thomas committee and the Araujo committee, which have been constituted by the government to identify and demarcate private forests in North and South Goa, respectively, if both these committees continue to work slowly.
Stating that private forest is a unique concept existing in Goa, which had evolved from the 1995-96 litigation before the Supreme Court, Arlekar said the government could also seriously think about keeping all those owners of private forests out of the purview of these two committees, who have been issued their private forest-related conversion sanads.
Arlekar replying to a zero hour mention on private forests said that presently, with the two committees involved in identifying private forests in Goa, all private forestlands here have been frozen including those in possession of conversion sanads.
“The government will try to find solution to this problem on case-to-case basis,” he assured.
Opposition leader Pratapsing Rane observed that out of its total area of 3,000-odd sq km, Goa has approximately 1,000 sq km of this area as a forest cover.
“The government should not try to increase this forest cover as the limited area of the state is just not enough for the people,” he pointed out.
The Minister for Forest and Environment also informed that the government has started thinking about preparing the state private forest management policy, and the same would be given a concrete form. He also stated that as long as the private forests in Goa are not identified and notified, they would not be subjected to any decision of the committee.