A National Forest Skill Development Centre has been set up in Dehradun to equip youths for jobs in the forest sector and help mitigate the problem of migration of people from the hills in search of work.
“It is one of a kind institution in the whole country where youth from all over India can converge and get skill development training.
It will help them get employment in the forest sector and rein in large scale migration from the hills in search of livelihood,” Union Minister of Forest and Environment Prakash Javadekar said today.
Stopping migration from hills in search of livelihood has been a major problem for successive governments in Uttarakhand.
On forest fires which destroyed thousands of hectares of land in Uttarakhand this season, Javadekar said the Wildlife Institute has been asked to submit a report on the forest blazes in the state and the extent of damage caused by them within 15 days.
Javadekar said the the Rajaji National Park was granted the status of a Tiger Reserve by the Centre to boost tourism so that more and more people get jobs in the sector and they don’t have to migrate from their homes.
He said the Govind Ballabh Pant National Himalayan Environment Institution is being upgraded as The National Centre For Himalayan Ecology which will conduct studies and researches in the field so that they come in handy for disaster management in times of a crisis.
The Centre has given Rs 24 crore to the state government for its upgradation, he said.
Javadekar said forest land clearance was proving to be a hurdle in the development of small rural roads in
Uttarakhand so disposal of forest land up to 40 hectares has been localised.
A total of 318 such cases have been disposed of and only 15 more remain, he said.
However, he claimed there has been an increase of 4000 square km of forest cover across the country in the last two years.