Eviction from forest land and plantation go side by side
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 10: Eviction from forest land and plantation drive in the evicted land has been a continuous process in the State.
Under Guwahati Forest Range, as much as 122 hectares of reserve forest land has been made from encroachment and over three lakh saplings have been planted there in Hengrabari Reserve Forest, Gotagar Reserve Forest and Fatasil Reserve Forest from 2015 till today. Similar eviction drives have also been going on in South Guwahati Forest Range as well.
Guwahati Forest Ranger Ranjit Dutta said: “Eviction drive is a tough task. Whenever there’s an eviction drive, the local people raise a hue and cry, sometimes create law-and-order problems. However, amidst such noise and ruckus eviction drives go on continuously, as it has to continue.”
According to Dutta, not only in reserve forest, such plantation drives have also been going on tiol highways. “A large number of plants have been planted from Koi-Dhora to Jalukbari on NH-37, and around 80 per cent of the plants have been growing fast,” Dutta said, and added: “However, the onus of upkeep of the trees planted by the Forest Department on tiol highways lies with the tiol Highway Authority of India (NHAI). If the NHAI can upkeep the plants planted on highways by the State Forest Department, tural balance can be struck in the State.”
Recently Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal showed the way by starting a neem tree plantation drive so as to convert the township into a ‘Neem gari’. Not only Guwahati, the Chief Minister wants to see the entire State green through more such plantation drives.