Khandu to push Centre for de-reservation of reserve forests

ITANAGAR, Mar 03: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday assured to send a proposal to the union Environment and Forest Ministry for de-reservation of reserve forests in foothill areas of the state.

Khandu informed that many reserved forests in the state are located in foothill areas which hampered in executing developmental projects.

The chief minister was responding to a question raised by NPP member Tarin Dakpe on conversion of Kamle reserve Forest into a wildlife sanctuary in 2015 without conducting any public hearing with the villagers of four villages with a population of 3000 people.

Khandu said that he had recently convened a meeting and had asked the chief secretary to compile the details of such reserve forests and to send a proposal to the Centre with a request to de-reserve such reserve forests located at foothill areas.

“I have started the process and very soon a meeting will be called with all the stakeholders to find a solution,” the chief minister added.

Earlier, responding to the question, Environment and Forest Minister Mama Natung informed the assembly that as per Survey of India toposheet, two villages are located outside the notified wild life sanctuary.

Quoting an order from the Centre, Natung informed that the process of de-reservation of reserve forests could not be taken up without approval of the Supreme Court.

He, however, assured for a spot visit to the area and would try to resolve the issue.

Dakpe had requested the government to initiate measures to de-reserve the areas where the villages exist since time immemorial and to constitute a committee to study the issue.

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