Forest employees begin hunger strike


Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal,  MP Forest Employees’ Association began their hunger strike for 19 points demand on Wednesday. The employees have been agitating for past one week. Forest employees are demonstrating for 19 points demand. Forest Department has sought help from Police and Home Guard team in order to secure flora and fauna around jungles. Demonstrators said, “Forest employees work for the department with dedication and put their life in danger to save wildlife but in response Forest Department is not paying well. They are demanding certain right with amendment in IPC and CRPC Act. Their demands are wages equivalent to police officials, 13 months allowance, uniforms to the forest guards, residential facility to the forest guard, Vanpal, Khsetrapal etc on tehsil and block-levels, grade pay 1900/5680, time bound wages to the forest guards after 10, 20 30 years of appointment, minimum Rs 15,000 wages to the Tendupatta managers etc facilities. The association members said that they are angry over the attitude of forest officials and said that officials have not raised their demands in the cabinet meet. Indefinite strike of MP Forest Employee Association which was continuing for past six days, giving tough time to the Wildlife and Forest Department as all sapling worth Rs 7 crore prepared at nursery for further plantation in forest areas are drying. These saplings were to be planted in forest areas of State from July 15 to July 30. Forest Department has started preparation for plantation during March 2018 and also dug the areas inside jungle. Besides, patrolling in tiger reserves, sanctuaries and forest ranges across State is completely paralysed. Senior officials of the Department are patrolling in few selected areas attached with the main roads. As striking employees have denied performing their duty of patrolling inside jungles, officials have no location of wildlife inside the forest areas for past five days. Sources said that taking advantage of the scene, poaches have become active around the tiger reserves and forest areas. Sources informed the news of employees strike has been spread in nearby States and poachers are becoming active. Nirmala Tiwari, President of the Employees Association said, “We have already informed about the indefinite strike and we will not withdraw until our demands are approved. Forest Department will be responsible for all the loss during strike.” Large number of big cats are active around Bhopal jungles. Tigress T-123 is roaming with two cubs in Bhopal forest circle and other male tiger is also present around the area. Officials are not able to trace the location of tigers in Satpura Tiger Reserve for past four days.