Guwahati: Minister for Environment and Forest, Excise and Fisheries, Parimal Suklabaidya reviewed the status of various schemes and projects of the departments in Dhubri on Friday.
Reviewing the activities of the Environment and Forest Department with the Deputy Commissioner, district officials and representatives of political parties at the Deputy Commissioner’s conference hall, Minister Suklabaidya asked the administration to clear the forest lands from encroachments and sought the cooperation of all in the greater interest of protection of the environment. He also underscored the need for extension of the green cover through massive plantations. “We have to increase the green cover for generation of oxygen without which we cannot survive. Trees must live for the human race to live too,” he quipped.
The Divisional Forest Officer apprised the Minister that 303 hectares of forest land have been encroached upon in the district and around 32 hectares have been cleared from encroachments recently.
Minister Suklabaidya said with the help from the Geological Survey of India, all the forest lands and areas close to the inter-state borders will be carried out soon.
He directed the DFO to close down all the illegal band sawmills operating across the district within 15 days and to reduce the number of licensed mills from the present seven numbers in a phased manner.
Expressing displeasure over the entry of trucks carrying sand, gravel and other forest products from West Bengal through Chagolia check gate in Assam without transit permits, Minister Suklabaidya warned the Beat Officer of dire consequences for his lackadaisical attitude. The Minister while lambasting the DFO for turning a blind eye, directed him to start the process of checking the transit permits of trucks carrying sand, gravel and other forest products from West Bengal within the next two days.
The Minister also asked the forest officials to increase the number of sand mahals from the existing three numbers to enhance revenue.
Reviewing the activities of the Excise department, Suklabaidya asked the officials to take all possible measures to stop illicit liquor and warned of stern action against anyone found involved in illicit liquor. He expressed his satisfaction over the collection of revenue by the department.
Reviewing the activities of the Fisheries department, Suklabaidya asked the officials to take into confidence the local MLAs and representatives of political parties while starting new projects. He asked the officials to encourage the educated youths to take to fishing as a lucrative business and to maintain close touch with the fishermen to solve their problems that will pave the way for more production. He asked the MLAs and representatives of political parties to help identify 10 bighas of land in any temple-mosque and other places and to submit proposals through the District Fishery authorities for the creation of ponds. The Minister asked the District Fisheries Development Officer to extend the invitation to the beneficiaries who have completed their works under PMMSY and to release the final instalment within a week.