UWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma along with State forest minister CM Patowary reviewed the functioning of the Forest and Environment Department and issued several directives.
In a series of directives here are the major takeaways: ▶️Take steps for increasing forest revenue collection by making the process a dynamic one ▶️Conduct tender process in a transparent manner ▶️Open call centre to allow the public to inform about forest encroachment.▶️Involve forest dwellers in conservation measures ▶️Undertake plantation of indigenous trees such as Hollong on roadsides ▶️Use drone technology to monitor the growth and maintenance of planted saplings.
Earlier, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma openly frowned at a few works of the Forest Department and asked the department to exercise zero tolerance for encroachment of forest land. The Chief Minister said this during the launching of the Chief Minister’s Institutional Plantation Programme (CMIPP) by planting a sapling at the Janata Bhawan premises. The Chief Minister said, “The Forest department should not be lenient towards the encroachers of forest lands. If we cannot preserve our forest areas, how can we keep the identity of the state intact? As students, we read Assam is a state full of greenery. If such rampant deforestation goes on, our identity will be at stake. Dismantle all the illegal sawmills in the state.”
He said, “Those who have been staying in the forest since before 2005 have some rights under the Forest Rights Act, but we need to talk to them about giving them land. They should help the government in re-plantation. Mainly deforestation leads to natural calamities. Had there been forest cover in Guwahati, the plight of Anil Nagar would not have been this.”