Eviction drive at KNP additions
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Nov 18: Faced with resistance from protestors backed by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity, the State Forest department has decided to seek more time from the Gauhati High Court to clear encroachments in the three additions of Kaziranga tiol Park.
The court had last month given a month's time to the government to clear the encroachments. The deadline passed on November 9.
"The people are not cooperating. Moreover, there are some patta holders and settlements of indigenous people in the additions which have made the eviction exercise difficult,' Forest minister Atuwa Munda said today.
There are some 700 families in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Additions of the park, most of them in the 2nd Addition.
"We will seek some more time from the court citing the law and order problems faced while carrying out the evictions. The department is also working on a rehabilitation package for the people who will be affected," Munda said, adding, "The government welcomes any kind of democratic protest, but we will not tolerate any violence."
The Forest minister also refuted allegations by Union minister Prakash Javadekar that the State government has not initiated the process of recruitment for the Rhino Protection Force despite the Central government giving its nod.
"We had sought Rs 38 crore to raise a force of 1,200. Though the Central government approved only 112 personnel, it has not sanctioned any funds so far for the recruitment process," Munda said.
He said the Forest department today took a decision to go ahead with the recruitment process. "We will take up the matter with the State Fince department," he said.
The Forest minister also claimed that the State had submitted a detailed project report to the Central government for upgrading the security infrastructure at Kaziranga tiol Park. "But the Central government is sitting over it," he said.
Munda also lambasted the Centre for cutting down the Project Tiger funds. "In 2014-15, the Centre had released Rs 11.34 crore under Project Tiger for the State. This year, we were sanctioned only Rs 8.66 crore," he said.