GUWAHATI: Assam's newly-appointed Forest Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said on Monday that his top priority is to safeguard the forests of the State.
Talking to The Sentinel, he said that Assam is quite rich in forest resources, so his thrust will be on increasing the forest cover in the State.
"The allegations regarding destruction of forests in Assam are definitely a cause for concern. So from now onwards, anyone who notices illegal felling of trees in forest areas should immediately click a photo on their mobile phones and inform us. We will take appropriate action. The Government will be successful in protecting forests only when there is people's participation in the process," he said.
Regarding the Kaziranga National Park (KNP), he said that it is the pride of Assam. "Yesterday I visited the KNP and interacted with Forest Department officials. During the interaction, I found that some infrastructural development is required to attract tourists as well as save wildlife," he said.
He mentioned the forest camps inside the KNP need infrastructural development and security manpower also needs to be augmented. As such, he said, the KNP authority has been asked to prepare a detailed plan for infrastructural development of the national park and forward it for consideration of the State Government.