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Problems of Khalingduar RF and Bornadi WLS discussed

In an attempt to restore remaining flora and fauna and unabated destruction of forests in BTC, Lwmsrao Daimari,EM,BTC visited Khalingduar Reserve Forest on May 1.He also held high level discussion with forest and civil officials at Noani Range Office with special reference to Khalingduar Reserve Forest,Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhairabkunda Reserve Forest. Bankim Sarma,DFO, Dhansiri Forest Division;DN Hazarika, Circle Officer,Harisinga Revenue Circle;Jayanta Kumar Das,Secretary,Monitoring Committee of Bornadi WLS;Haladhar Kalita,Range Officer,Nonai Range Office etc took part in the discussion. The EM told officials that floa and fauna of BTC including Udalguri would be restored at any cost. In the matter of protecting all the reserve forests in the district mostly- Bornadi WLS,Khalingduar RF,Bhairabkunda RF,the EM was told that more than 95% of government lands had been encroached illegally by vested interested people,leaving no room for establishing big industries or institutions in the district. And the lands belonging to reserve forests would have to be utilised for such projects in future. It was also came to light that most of the tea gardens in the district too occupied much land belonged to RF or PRFs.The EM was requested to take action in the matter so as to find out the excess possesion of lands by the tea gardens.

The problems of insufficient of forest staff was also discussed.It was known that the Range Officer of Nonoi has to maintain vigil over a huge area touching Rowta,Udalguri, Kalaigaon Bhairabkunda, Bhakatpara, Tangla, Koramore, Dimakuch, Bhergaon and Khoirabari etc. With just 19 forest personals.

Range Officer Haladhar Kalita remarked that only 5 nos of forest staff belong to age group of below 50 years. According to him it is near impossible to maintain strict vigil over the entire 50 KM long area with just a 19 strong force.It needs mention that Nonai Range Office has to cover area of 13 police stations,2 police out posts,4 Revenue Circles,namely- Kalaigaon,Udalguri,Khoirabari and Bhergaon. During the discussion EM Daimari declared that BTC authority would be very strict in dealing with encroachers. He specially studied the massive encroachment of nearly 5000 bigha lands at Neewly PRF (Proposed Reserve Forest) near Samrang.The BTC EM directed the civil and forest official to start massive tree plantation on all vaccant forest lands to check further encroachment. He also suggested formation of Eco Task Force with retired army and paramilitary forces. Thirdly the EM suggested to for more JFMC (Joint Forest Management Committees) in and around of Bornadi WLS and Khalingduar RF. According to EM new policy to prevent further encroachment would be discussed at Kokrajhar. He told DFO to plant trees even on encroached lands and make the encroacher liable to protect such plantation.Bankim Sarma, DFO, Dhansiri Division remarked that Khalingduar RF and Bornadi WLS fall well in the core zone of Manas Tiger Reserve and matter would be placed at highest level to arrange 'Camera Tapping ' in Bornadi WLS so as to find out the existance of Pigmy Hogs and Royal Bengal tigers etc.

Later EM Lwmsrao Daimarialong with other officials visited the Central Nursery established under CAMPA with an area of 3 hactres at Switch Gate near Compartment No.4. The DFO told EM and others that the nursery was established at an amount of Rs.28 lacs to produce seedlings.Already seedling of various species (polypot seedlings 2 lakhs and naked bed seedling of 3 lakhs) have been produced.The DFO said that the plantation programme had been done keeping in mind the food need of wild animals and birds.The EM also visited Jalimukh to study the prospect of drawing international tourists.

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Jayanta Kumar Das's picture

Environmental journalist.

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