Sunday, December 20, 2009

Centre okays road to Vijayanagar via Namdapha

Khandu lays emphasis on setting example for afforestation
Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Dec 20: Estranged without a road for years, people of Vijayanagar, on the border with Myanmar, in Changlang district have something to cheer about at last. Decks have been cleared by the Government of India to restore the 157-km road from Miao to Vijayanagar, which was earlier closed after declaration of the Namdapha National Park through which it passes. This was revealed by Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu while addressing the two-day conference of Senior Forest Officers here at PCCF office today.

Khandu said the 60-km stretch of the road that passes through the National Park would be constructed and maintained by the Forest Department in order to ensure protective measures for safeguarding the flora and fauna of the Park, while for construction of rest of the road tenders would be floated by the concerned department.

Regretting that the State has progressed very slowly in utilizing its vast natural resources, Khandu said, “The Supreme Court ban on timber operation in 1996 should have been taken by us as a challenge and viewed it as an opportunity to develop our vast non-timber forest resources like bamboo, cane, medicinal plants, etc.” He called upon the senior forest officers to go to the field, interact with the people and chalk out some viable plans and strategies to improve the economy and livelihood of the common people.

Khandu requested the PCCF to conduct periodical spot inspection to ensure that field officers discharge their duties sincerely. Viewing seriously the degrading wildlife in the state and no comprehensive plans being chalked out to check it, Khandu asked the senior forest officers to plan and suggest the government with practical schemes so that the wildlife could be protected from extinction. He directed strict implementation of the wildlife protection laws in a holistic manner.

The Chief Minister, while throwing light on Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), advised the department to evolve similar schemes which are feasible and beneficial to both people and the environment. He advocated for more and more afforestation programmes to increase the density of forests and fill up bare lands considering various developmental activities being undertaken in the state like Trans-Arunachal Highway, Hydro Power Development, Green Field Airport, Defence roads etc and compensate for the diverted land and forest for these projects. 

“Arunachal Pradesh has been immensely contributing to check global warming and with afforestation, we need to set examples for others,” Khandu asserted and emphasized strict monitoring of National Afforestation Programmes implemented by forest development agencies and suggested inclusion of PRIs and GBs in the implementation team for ensuring judicious execution.

Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Forest Kumar Waii stressed teamwork to accelerate forest development works. He placed certain grievances of the department to the Chief Minister and urged him to address the same. THE SENTINEL

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