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Set up a permanent PCCF office at Kaziranga: Assam CM Sonowal

Set up a permanent PCCF office at Kaziranga: Assam CM Sonowal
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Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday directed the state Environment and Forest Department to set up a permanent office of the Principal...

Guwahati : Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday directed the state Environment and Forest Department to set up a permanent office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest at Kaziranga.

The CM gave the go ahead in course of a review meeting with Minister for Environment and Forest Pramila Rani Brahma, Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia and senior forest officials at his office conference room at Assam Secretariat.

The Assam CM had asked the Environment and Forest Department to prepare an action plan for generation of revenue to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore out of its own resources during the current financial year without causing any harm to the ecology.

On the other hand Sonowal suggested the department to sell off the timber at the different beat offices online.

Underscoring the need for preserving the rich bio-diversity, Sonowal directed the department to identify the areas and to take necessary steps.

Asserting unequivocally ‘human beings survive only when trees exist’, Sonowal expressed concern over the fast depletion of the forest cover.

“Awareness has to be created for preservation of our State’s bio-diversity. Towards this end, the department must involve the students living in 26,000 villages across the State in the conservation campaign to make it a success,” Sonowal said.

The Assam CM asked the Environment and Forest Minister to make a whirlwind tour of the forest affected areas and to initiate a slew of measures to protect the reserved forests by planting trees on the fringes and to create water bodies to prevent illegal encroachment.

Sonowal asked the department to submit the list of encroached forest land for needful action.

Underlining the need for protection of the State’s forest resources, Sonowal asked the department to formulate a scheme for plantation of one crore saplings. Sonowal also directed the department to make an in-depth study of the plant species that existed 300 years ago.

The Assam CM also suggested the department to examine the quality of sand and for its proper utilisation in different sectors.

Emphasising the need to infuse professionalism in the working of the department, Sonowal said that it is the only way to increase revenue.

“Following the boom in the construction sector there is a huge demand for forest resources. The department has to work with a firm resolve to bring to an end all illegal business relating to forest resources,” the Assam CM said.

Sonowal said the utilisation of the forest resources especially the sand of the Brahmaputra by the Central and State Governments as well as the private sector in the construction sector would not only lead to steep increase in revenue mobilisation but also ensure increase volume of water through the tributaries of the Brahmaputra.

Sonowal pointed out that the Central Government is keen to make use of the sand of the Brahmaputra.

The Assam CM asked the Environment and Forest Department to tie up with concerned departments for sale of products from forest resources.

Sonowal stressed on the need to make the reserved forest areas as centres of tourism.

Sonowal asked the department to make a study for raising fish production in the water bodies located in the reserved forest areas.

The Assam CM directed the Chief Secretary to prohibit the use of small nets to protect the fingerlings in the water bodies located in the forest areas.

Environment and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said effective steps will be initiated to stop rhino poaching at Kaziranga National Park.

Brahma said that she would personally meet the people living on the fringes of the national park to create awareness on protecting the rhinos.

The meeting was attended, among others, by MPs Rameswar Teli and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, PCCF, Principal Secretary of the Environment and Forest Department and other senior officials.

(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)

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