Bhopal: The forest department has decided to compensate for the shortage of field staff with drones. In the latest development, the ‘Green India Mission’ of the forest department has demanded 16 drones for 16 forest circles across the state.
The additional principal chief conservator of forests (APCCF) and head of the ‘Green India Mission’, K Raman, said that a proposal had been sent to the Centre. One drone for each circle will be bought after the Centre granted permission, he added.
According to sources, there is a shortage of over 7,500 forest guards in the department at present. A beat guard has to cover an area of about 15-20 sq.km. These beat guards are also assigned other duties that take up much of their time.
Why not use modern tech?
“Why shouldn’t we use modern techniques to enhance our capacities? Use of drones could be made to monitor plantation drives and activities related to it as it is done on a very large scale. Moreover, its use could be done to track illegal wood trafficking and poaching, as well. It can compensate for the shortage of beat guards that exists in the department,” said a forest official (requesting anonymity).