Commercial kala kachu farming soon to end smuggling: Rebia

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Aug 30:  MLA Tatung Jamoh, in a calling attention motion today, drew the attention of the house about illegal extraction and trading of Paris Polyphylla, locally known as kala kachu, across the state.

This is a species enlisted endangered by International Union of Conservation of Nature and its illegal extraction and trading has been leading to physical assault. Such reports were received from Pango and Siyum villages of East Siang district recently where culprit was caught leading to public hearing while few murder cases were reported from other districts.

He wanted to know if the GoAP, particularly Arunachal Pradesh State Medicinal Plants Board (APSMPB) and environment & forest ministry aware and taking any protective steps.

Environment & Forest Minister Nabam Rebia, in his response, recalled his meeting with union minister Maneka Gandhi when he had accompanied then chief minister Gegong Apang. “Gandhi had scolded and asked to stop eating dogs and charged that all animal species were vanishing from Arunachal Pradesh but did not pay heed to any clarification,” he said.

It is high time for the civil society to rise to protect and conserve the rich flora and fauna of the state, he said and called for mass awareness to awake and act to conserve the rich bio-diversity of the state.

However, the department is aware of the rampant and reckless illegal extraction and trading of Paris Polyphylla, a vulnerable medicinal plant, leading to serious conflicts between smugglers and locals, he said. The matter was discussed and a committee has been constituted on 21.08.18 as per CM direction to decide modalities for cultivation and commercialization of all medicinal plants including this species. Moreover, Arunachal is the first state in the country as APSMPB has brought out a policy in 2015 to promote cultivation while conserving the natural occurrence of the important medicinal plants.

However, the department needs strong vigilance across the state which is difficult with its limited forest guards, each of whom is expected to make surveillance in 39-km area, against 3.85-km in nearby Assam. While 158 forest guard posts are lying vacant, which should be filled on priority while the CM has approved creation of 200 posts, he said.

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