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Construction of tea factory in eco-sensitive zone poses threat to wildlife

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 Dec 2017 12:00 AM GMT

From a Correspondent

GOLAGHAT (Dhekial), Dec 3: The Department of Forest, Government of Assam has claimed to have taken adequate initiative for safety of wildlife and environment by carrying out eviction drives in various places of the State against illegal encroachment.

Similarly, the Ministry of Environment and Forest, as well as the Supreme Court of India, has declared to stop construction activities under eco-Sensitive area around tiol parks, wildlfe sanctuaries and reserve forests. But some dishonest people and mafias are allegedly involved in construction activities under prohibited areas.

In Golaghat district, very close to mbor Reserve Forest at Murphulani Tiniali, a tea factory’s construction activities in eco-sensitive area are going on. Murphulani Tiniali is known as an elephant corridor. The Luhit Tea Factory Pvt. Limited is setting up a huge factory using high power lights, machinery and instruments along with a big boundary wall. The alleged construction activities under prohibited area are disturbing the movement and behavior of wild animals as well as posing a threat to the wild animals.

Some conscious citizens have been opposing the construction activities near mbor Reserve Forest. The Range Officer of Golaghat Range under Golaghat Divisiol Forest Office also issued an order No. F/ESZ/2016/1456-57 dated 11/11/2016 to stop construction activities near mbor Forest at Murphulani Tiniali which falls within eco-sensitive zone. The Range Oficer clearly mentioned in the order that any kind of construction activity was prohibited in the area. Despite all this, the Luhit Tea Company Pvt. Ltd is allegedly neglecting rules and regulations and has continued the construction activities in prohibited area.

Notably, under the Wildlife Conservation Strategy, 2002 ‘land falling within kms of the boundaries of tiol parks and sanctuaries should be notified as eco-fragile zones under section 3 (v) of the Environment (protection) Act and Rule 5 Sub rule (viii) & (x) of the Environment (Protection) Rules’. Any kind of construction activity is prohibited in eco-sensitive area.

A team of jourlists of Golaghat has filed a complaint against the tea factory to the Deputy Commissioner of Golaghat as well as the Superintendent of Police for alleged construction activities in eco-sensitive zone. But allegedly the district administration has not taken any action in this regard.

The construction of tea factory in the elephant corridor of mbor Reserve Forest has been disturbing and obstructing the movement of wild elephant along its traditiol migratory route as the wall acts as a huge physical barrier to their movement. Consequently, the human-elephant conflict has been increasing in the nearby villages.

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