Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki today emphasised on preservation of the state`s vast forest cover.
Tuki was speaking during a programme at the Rajiv Gandhi Polytechnic here on the occasion of Vanamahotsava. While lauding the people and the department of Forest and Environment for maintaining one of the best forest covers in the country about 82 per cent - the Chief Minister said it was not enough and ought to be increased.
"Why remain content on the 82 per cent forest cover? Can`t we increase it to 90 per cent?" he said and called upon the youth to take lead in the endeavour and urging them to take a pledge to plant at least one sapling every month.
"We cannot go beyond being number one (in forest cover). But we have to be number one and remain as number one," he said.
Tuki pointed out that despite the ban on timber business by the Supreme Court since 1996, the state still could improve its economy to a large extent through judicious use of its natural resources and expressed concern over the loopholes in management of resources while calling for a mechanism to plug leakage of revenue from forest produce.
"Our wealth is being drained out and we need to stop it through proper management," the Chief Minister said.
Tuki also highlighted the issue of encroachment of reserve forests and sanctuaries and said it was natural for people to settle unknowingly in reserve forests.
Creating awareness by incorporating subjects on forest conservation in school syllabus right from the primary level should be done, he suggested.
Former Chief Minister of Goa and AICC general secretary, in-charge Northeastern states, Luizinho Faleiro, also accompanied the Chief Minister to the programme.
In his brief address to students and staff of the Polytechnic, Faleiro compared Goa with Arunachal Pradesh and admitted that the later was more scenic and beautiful.
"You don`t know what you are giving to the world. With your forests preserved, you are helping the world to live a healthy life," he said.
The programme was also attended by APCC president Padi Richo, Itanagar Municipal councilor Taba Yall Nabam, PCCF Omkar Singh and Capital Deputy Commissioner Mige Kamki among others.