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Panel push for steps to save forests

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  • Published 20.07.12

Kokrajhar, July 19: An inquiry committee of the Bodoland Territorial Council Legislative Assembly has recommended immediate action to protect the forests in the BTC area, especially in the Nayekgaon forest range.

Chairman of the 15-member inquiry committee, Laben Basumatary, which was asked to probe the encroachment of forestland in the Nayekgaon range, along the Chakrachila wildlife sanctuary, tabled its report in the BTC Legislative Assembly yesterday. .

The committee observed that the forests were being destroyed so rapidly that soon the BTC’s economy would be jeopardised. “If such activities are allowed to continue, the BTC administration will be answerable to the country and the Supreme Court for not taking action. The responsibility lies with the BTC to initiate timely action,” the report said.

According to the report, huge plantations of rubber and tea have come up in the dense forests of Choraikhola, Bedlangmari, Nayekgaon, Bangaldoba and Salakati under Nayekgaon range after felling sal trees.

“At present the regeneration of sal trees is good and if protected they will regenerate into good sal forests within a few years,” the report added.

The committee observed that the forests under Nayekgaon range would play a unique role and needed to be protected as did the golden langurs living in the forests.

“These forests will form an important connecting link between Nadengiiri hill reserve forest in the north and Chakrachila wildlife sanctuary in the South. The island population of golden langurs needs to be urgently connected through corridors by habitat restoration to ensure long term survivability,” it said.

As a remedial measure, it recommended that no person should be allowed to enter the rubber and tea plantations established in the forest areas of Nayekgaon.