FROM A CORRESPONDENT
DHUBRI, APRIL 24: Amid reports of increasing cases of leopards and wild elephants entering human habitats, massive clearing of green cover at Mahamaya Reserve Forest under the Parbatjhora Forest Division of Kokrajhar district has now been reported.
Huge patches of land that had trees have become bald in the past few months. Sources said that smuggling of valuable trees, sand and gravel and other forest produce is going on for last several months.
This has exposed how the local forest department has failed to detect and stop deforestation.
Nestled close to Dhubri district border , Mahamaya Reserve Forest is famous for its rich biodiversity comprising various tural products, valuable trees and medicil plants. It is also home to different rare species of wild animals. The reserve forest covering 9,798 hectares of land is the habitat of tigers, deer, wild cows, jackals, storks, white-backed vultures, different species of skes and other rare wildlife.
“This area is frequented by wildlife and particularly leopard because of good forest cover. If the forest department fails to stop this, we won’t see these wild animals. There have been cases of animals straying out of the hills due to deforestation and getting killed,” said a local resident.
He said that many areas of the forest have turned into human habitations, while many areas have turned barren because of large-scale felling of trees. Because of these activities, the ecological balance of the forest has been jeopardized.
A forest department official said they have received complaints of this major irregularity. “We have asked the local forest employees to give a detailed report on this. Prima facie it seems there has been deforestation in the locality,” the official said.