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Ghost Houses of Purulia Turned Into Forest Field Offices

IFS officer Debashish Sharma, has revived and renovated a 13-year-old abandoned forest beat office into a functional field office The beat office now has proper facility of drinking water and CCTV cameras for safety purpose The officer had revived a beat office earlier as well and is planning to revive two more abandoned beat offices
Indian Masterminds Stories

To have better access to forest observation and conservation, DFO, Purulia Forest Division, Mr Debashish Sharma, IFS, has revived and renovated a 13-year-old abandoned forest beat compound into a functional field office with the 24*7 presence of field staff. 

Purulia, has a total of 1.21 lakh hectares of forest. The district has major conservation challenges due to its rich flora and fauna. Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Sharma said, “Since Purulia earlier had lot of Maoist and Naxal activities, many beat offices in deep forest areas were abandoned. With their activities in the wane, we thought of reviving them for better surveillance.”

BENEFITS OF BEAT OFFICES

These beat offices are very interior and are located inside the forest. With forest staff living in these offices will make them accessible to villagers living around the forest for any official purpose. Earlier villagers had to visit the range office, but now it will be convenient for them.

There are so many challenges in the forest sector, like theft, wildlife protection, forest fire, so now the department will now be able to address these issues more efficiently with these beat offices.

“Earlier, if we got any information related to illicit activity, it used to take us almost an hour to reach the spot. But now, with our staff is staying there, the response time will reduce.  More importantly, it will have a psychological impact on miscreants. We can keep a better vigil over forest and wildlife,” Mr. Sharma said.

The officer also informed that they pulled funds from different sources and involved civil engineers to check whether these abandoned buildings can be revived or not. The have also ensured that drinking water facility is there for the staffs. For safety purposes, they have installed CCTV cameras over there so that it can be in a liveable condition.

REVIVING BEAT OFFICES

Earlier Mr. Sharma revived another beat office in Ghatbera forest, Balrampur Range, seven months ago and this was his second project. “So far, I have revived two beat offices and still we are working on two more beat offices. This initiative is related to improving the infrastructure of forest complexes because this is the basic thing, if infrastructure will be good then 50% of our work will be easier. Infrastructure improvement is one of my key concerns where I generally work,” he added.

1st Revived Office : Ghatbera Forest Beat Office, Balrampur Range, Purulia Forest Division : After 12 Years of being abandoned.

The renovation of the second beat office took two months and the earlier one was in much bad face so it took four months for renovation.

“The objective will be fulfilled when the staffs will start working from there and the forestry activity will be undertaken from that office only and will be convenient for locals as well,” Mr. Sharma said in conclusion.


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