GUWAHATI: The Assam Public Works (APW), a state based NGO, has moved the Gauhati high court to direct the Assam government to put in place a permanent mechanism to ensure the protection of the forest wealth and to prevent miscreants from causing destruction to such forest wealth in the bordering areas of Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
In a PIL, the APW sought the high court’s intervention in solving the perennial issues of border disputes between Assam and its neighbouring states. The PIL also prayed the court to direct both the state government and its counterparts in Mizoram to put in place a proper mechanism for immediate recovery and eviction of the trespassers from the forest land of Kulicherra Part – II Forest Village in the state’s Cachar district and Chotobhubirbond of Singla Reserved Forest in Karimganj district so as to bring normalcy in life of the people of those areas and to protect and preserve the forest land of Assam.
“Direct the respondent authorities to implement steps to prevent further destruction of forest wealth situated at bordering areas of Mizoram in the Districts of Cachar and Karimganj,” a prayer in the PIL read.
On Thursday, during a hearing both Assam and Mizoram government has informed the court that preventive measures were taken to ensure peace in the disputed areas.
Assam forest department submitted that necessary preventive measures have been taken in the area by deploying Forest Force with the aid of civil administration and there appears to be peace and tranquility prevailing at this stage.
On the other hand, the Mizoram government side submitted, “The problem appears to have been arising because of certain dispute in the bordering area of both the state of Assam and Mizoram. However, at present, there is no such unrest or disturbances in that area and efforts are going on to settle any dispute amicably.”
After hearing both sides, the court has fixed January 27 next year to take up the matter again.
The border dispute between Mizoram and Assam had flared up on October 9 after a farm hut and plantations were damaged on the disputed land near Thinghlun village in west Mizoram’s Mamit district.
Subsequently, two school buildings on Assam land near the disputed border were also bombed by suspected Mizo miscreants. In reply, locals on Assam’s side had staged an economic blockade against Mizoram.
Later in November, the Gauhati high court directed the Centre, Assam and Mizoram governments to take necessary steps to ensure normal flow of traffic and essential items on National Highway-306 and the inter-state highway connecting two states