Over 137.76 sq km of forest land grabbed in 4 tiol parks and 5 wildlife sanctuaries of the State; Assam second after Madhya Pradesh in terms of forest encroachment
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 17: Around 137.76 sq km of forest land in four tiol parks and five wildlife sanctuaries of the State are under encroachment. This is in addition to the encroachment in three additions of Kaziranga tiol Park.
Soi-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest encroachment. Of the total 220 sq km of land in the sanctuary, around 85 sq km is under encroachment.
Within the 500-sq km Mas tiol Park, there are illegal settlements in around 31 sq km stretch, according to government reports.
Around 2.35 sq km of the 78-sq km Orang tiol Park have been usurped, while at the Dibru-Saikhowa tiol Park, 3.71 sq km of the total 340 sq km have been occupied illegally. The 200-sq km meri tiol Park also has 5 sq km land under encroachment.
Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary has 70.13 sq km land of which 3 sq km is under illegal occupation, while at Burachapori WS, 5.04 sq km of the total 44.06 sq km is under encroachment.
Borjan-Bherjan-Podumoni WS has 0.38 sq km under encroachment and Dihing-Patkai 2.28 sq km.
According to India State of Forest Report 2015, of the 1,899,358 hectares of encroached forest area in the country, the highest, nearly 29% is in Madhya Pradesh with around 552,570 hectares under uuthorized and illegal occupation.
Madhya Pradesh is followed by Assam with 3,17,215 hectares of encroached forest area. Forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma has vowed to launch eviction drives at encroached forest lands immediately after the rainy season.