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Maharashtra govt to develop forests to increase revenue: Fadnavis

PTI 22 Nov 2014, 11:10:48 AM IST

Mumbai: Assuring decentralisation of transfers in the Forest Department, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said his government will focus on the development of forests to boost revenue income from the current Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore.

Addressing a review meeting of forest department on Friday, Fadnavis said he would ensure that there is no paucity of funds for implementation of policies and programmes of the department.

Out of 45,000 villages in the state, 15,500 are dependent on forests. An average of two crore man days employment opportunity is generated from forest area, he said.

The Chief Minister was informed that in Gadchiroli district, 29 villages have been given collective rights by the forest department, where they had collected and auctioned bamboo bundles and earned income of Rs 15.60 crore.

He said people's participation in forest conservation would help expedite the development of forests.
Fadnavis also assured that the Gorewada International Zoo near Nagpur would be developed expeditiously.

He discussed with officials issues regarding sending the zoo's master plan for approval to the Central Zoo Authority and getting viability gap funding of Rs 183.63 crore from the Centre for the project.