From A Correspondent
Agartala, Oct 29: Fince Minister Bhanu Lal Saha expressed grave concern over the depleting forest cover in the State which is causing serious ecological imbalance in the environment, destroying the bio-diversity and creating various kinds of problems like flood.
“Most of our hills got denuded due to un-mindful deforestation by a section of unwise businessman. As a result the forests lost their water retention capacity. Increasing erosion and siltation in the rivers are major reasons for the repeated flood,” he rued. He said that 20 per cent of the State does not have proper forest cover. He was addressing the winding up program of the 63rd Bio-Diversity Preservation week at Sipahijala Sanctuary in Sipahijala district.
He said that large scale plantation in the upstream and catchment areas of the rivers is the only way to increase the water retention capacity of the hills which will be a great protection against the havoc of repeated flood.
He urged the people especially the student community to be alert about the impending crisis the society may face if the forest animals are destroyed and the bio-diversity is lost.
Talking about the need for prevention of erosion and preservation of rain water, he said that only two per cent of the world’s water resources are drinking water. This percentage remains static while the population is increasing. The increased demand for water can be met only with preserving the rain water.
He said the State government has taken a special initiative to increase forest cover and in 2018 over 1.75 lakh trees will be planted in the Agartala Municipal Corporation area. He advised all the autonomous bodies and the rural governments to plant as much trees as possible in their respective areas.