Itanagar: Concerned over large scale encroachment of forest land and destruction of plantations by people in connivance with forest officials throughout Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Wednesday cracked the whip on erring officials.
The state government is serious on protection of forest land and produces and suitable action will be taken on the officials? for dereliction of duties, Tuki informed the assembly in response to a question raised by Trinamool Congress member Laeta Umbrey during question hour.
The chief minister disclosed that altogether 3,056 people encroached on forest lands in various districts with the maximum number of 1,417 people under Namsai Forest Division followed by Nampong forest division (519), Lohit (412) and Banderdewa (375).
Our forest is the highest property of the country and we must protect it at any cost, Tuki said with conviction.
Citing lack of manpower as the major reason for the problem, the chief minister informed the house that the state government recently created the Forest Protection Force and had already sanctioned 288 posts.
Due to limited forest check gates in comparison to the vast stretch of state`s forest area, we cannot protect the entire area. Lots of forest produces are going outside the state illegally. However, with efforts being put by the government, the problem will be solved soon, he said.
Responding to another supplementary, Tuki said that during the past five years, encroachment to the extent of 55.249 hectares in Banderdewa forest division and 35 hectares in Dibang forest division were being reported.
Offence reports have been drawn against the encroachers and cases booked in the local courts, he informed adding, 35 such cases under Banderdewa division and seven in Dibang division were under trial.