3 MLAs in; environmentalist Kerkar kept out
The Goa State Board for Wildlife, chaired by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, has been reconstituted, including bureaucrats from relevant departments of the State and Central governments besides representatives of related NGOs.
Apart from Sawant, the 31-member board has Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane as vice-chairman, and three more legislators – Ganesh Gaonkar, Deviya Rane and Anton Vas.
A noted exclusion from the board is reputed green activist Rajendra Kerkar.
Assisting the government in selection and management of areas to be declared as protected areas, formulating policy for protection and conservation of wild life and specified plants, measures for harmonising the needs of tribals and other dwellers of forests with protection and conservation of wild life are some of the statutory functions of the board. Some of the expert members in the Board include Dr M K Janarthanam of Goa University, Research Scientist Prof Sujeet Kumar Dongre, Dr Baban Ingole of NCPOR-Vasco, former Goa Forest officer Milind Kharkanis and Dr Pradeep Sarmokadam who is member-secretary of Goa Biodiversity Board.
The bureaucrats named in the Board are: Secretary (Forests), Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Secretary (Tribal Welfare), managing director of GTDC, Director General of Police, Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Director of Fisheries and Chief Wildlife Warden.
Officials of the Central government include representative of the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, representative of the Botanical Survey of India, Representative of Zoological Survey of India, officer to be nominated by Director, Wild Life Preservation and representative of Armed Forces to be nominated by the Central government.
Other members include Amrutsingh of Bicholim, Charan Desai of Ponda, Rohida Kansekar of Navelim-Bicholim, Uday Rane who is sarpanch of Bironda and former Goa forest officer, Anit Shetgaonkar.