Kokrajhar, April 3: A public awareness meeting on conservation of forests and wildlife was held at Dilglipara under Haltugaon forest division in Kokrajhar today, organised jointly by Absu, the eco task force and the forest department.
The meeting expressed concern over the destruction of forests inside Chirang reserve forest in areas like Kukulung, Saralpara and Ultapani where wanton felling of trees and unabated encroachment is posing a serious threat to the existence of the forest in the Bodo belt.
Col Pawar, the commanding officer of the eco task force, said largescale encroachment has been the main cause behind the depredation.
“The area is bestowed with flora and fauna, which is not found in any other parts,” he said and called upon the local organisations and the public to join hands in the conservation of forests and wildlife.
The president of the Kokrajhar district of Absu, Lorence Islary, urged the villagers of the area to take a stand. “The forest is a resource of the Bodo belt and if we continue to fell trees, we will lose it forever,” he said.
He also urged the villagers to keep a tight vigil to ensure that outsiders do not come and cut trees.
Haltugaon forest division DFO C. Ramesh also gave a lecture on the importance of wildlife and forests and their conservation.
The BTC had announced immediate action to revive the deteriorating forest cover, especially the Ripu-Chirang elephant reserve in Kokrajhar district, which is the only evergreen forest left in the Bodo region.
It recently called an all-party meeting, gaonburahs, NGOs and local residents to discuss issues related to protection of forests.