Bengaluru, Sep 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) Karnataka has decided to significantly hike the solatium provided to the families of forest department personnel who lose their lives while on duty. Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai announced on Sunday that the state government will raise the solatium amount from the existing Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.
He was speaking after paying respects to martyrs as part of National Forest Martyrs Day-2022 organised by the Forest Department here on Sunday.
Bommai said his predecessor, B.S. Yediyurappa had hiked the solatium paid to martyrs from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.
The incumbent government will further hike from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.
Now, the government will ensure appointment of martyrs' family members on compassionate grounds and their welfare with utmost sympathy.
"You protect the forest, the government will protect you."
The chief minister also said that the government plans to increase the forest cover from 21 per cent to 30 per cent. He pointed out that Karnataka has over 4 lakh hectares of barren land and afforestation can be taken up to increase the forested area.
Pointing out that Karnataka is the first state in the country to present an environment budget, Bommai said the department is formulating the environment budget and the government has already given its approval for the action plan.
"This year, an afforestation programme will be taken up at a cost of Rs 100 crore. A special plan has been chalked out by the forest department to conserve the ecologically sensitive areas. The Department of Forest and Environment has taken special interest to protect natural resources and to minimise loss to the environment. By implementing the action plan this year, a new model will be prepared and increase the forest cover," Bommai stated.