A department official said that the department was running a tree helpline number earlier, but it was now non-functional.
Wildlife offences: A green helpline soon! In order to cater to complaints as well as distress calls about tree and wildlife offences, the forest and wildlife department had decided to launch a ‘green’ helpline, according to a report in IE. A department official was quoted by the report as saying that a 24×7 helpline was needed because people often found themselves lost regarding whom to connect to when they needed help or saw any animal in distress. Then they either resorted to searching the internet or calling the police. However, with this helpline, the official said, people would be able to approach the appropriate authorities quickly.
The helpline would also cater to people’s complaints regarding offences regarding trees, like cutting or pruning of trees without the requisite permissions. The official said that the department was running a tree helpline number earlier, but it was now non-functional. The official was further quoted as saying that the forest officials directly received several calls and emails for complaints around issues related to trees and animals, which meant that there was a high level of awareness among the people. Now these people would be able to approach the appropriate helpline also.
The report added that the information that is received via the helpline would be sent to the deputy conservator of forests in the area and the deputy conservator would look into the matter. Apart from the helpline, for the aid of the forest officials tackling the complaints, three mobile squads have also been established. The official added that despite the mobile squads, the initiative would be a joint effort between the department as well as NGOs.
Moreover, a meeting with the Ridge Management Board is scheduled to occur on September 18, the official said, and the possibility of hiring 15 staffers to help in rescue operations is also on the meeting agenda. If the hiring is approved, each division, i.e., north (and east), west and south, would get five staff members each, and these would include community members like snake catchers.