Jalpaiguri, (West Bengal): Environment minister Jairam Ramesh visited Banarhat in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal where seven elephants were killed by a speeding goods train recently.
He termed the killing of seven elephants as a ghastly incident and expressed concern over the lack of recruitment of forest rangers.
"Well I have discussed this with forest officials. One of the problems has been the lack of recruitment at the local level at the forest guard level, forest ranger level. I am pleased to say that I have just been informed that fresh recruitment is going to be started this year in Bengal," said Ramesh.
"Many other states have started the process of recruitment and we must bring in younger people. We must bring in more active people. We must make them much more mobile, give them the facilities to do their job," he added.
"No doubt in my mind that unless we strengthen the forest department at the local level we are not going to able to make much of a head way," the minister observed.