The Assam government has taken up the issue of encroachment of forest-land with neighboring Arunachal Pradesh. A high-level delegation of the State forest department reportedly informed its Arunachal Pradesh counterparts at a meeting in Itanagar. The delegation also raised the issue of setting up of wood-based industries adjacent to reserve forests of Assam.
According to reports, around 5,525 hectares of forest-land have allegedly been encroached by Arunachal Pradesh in upper Assam’s Doomdooma division, 800 hectares in Digboi division and 50 hectares in Sivasagar division. “The Arunachal side assured to take it up with their government. Initially, they were saying that it was an old and perennial issue, but we said it was our responsibility to point it out,” said Assam PCCF and Head of Forest Force (HoFF) AM Singh.
The PCCF also said that Assam tried to impress upon the neighboring state that proliferation of wood-based industries was one of the causes of forest destruction. Assam also raised the issue of illegal transportation of timber originating from Arunachal Pradesh. They also pointed out that in the last two financial years, at least 50 vehicles carrying 1,056 cubic metres of timber were seized in the four upper Assam forest divisions. Both sides agreed on nominating a nodal officer from each side to act as a single window for dealing with the inter-state issues.