The government is taking strict steps by effective laws to stop cutting of trees in forest areas and to curb forest mafia.Strict enforcement of the Indian Forests Act, 1927, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 enables prevention of cutting of trees and forest areas. In addition, the State Government of Uttar Pradesh has enacted Protection of Tree Act, 1976 to regulate felling of trees in rural areas. No new Central Act is presently being considered for enactment to prevent cutting of trees and forest areas.
The State Government of Uttar Pradesh has established two forest divisions in Pilibhit with about 225 officers and employees for providing protection to the forests and wildlife by enforcing the Acts as mentioned above. As reported, there are no lions and cheetah in the forests of Pilibhit. As per the wild animal census of 2007 there are about 36 tigers, 6 leopards and a variety of ungulates in the forests of Pilibhit.
The State Government of Uttar Pradesh, with the help of various provisions of the above mentioned Acts and with the help of the Indian Penal Code, the Gangster Act, the National Security Act, etc., has taken action against 353 forest mafia during the year 2009-10 in the State.
Minister of State for the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Independent charge) Shri Jairam Ramesh replied in a written question by Shri Ganga Charan in Rajya Sabha today.