GUWAHATI, March 2 � State�s 1,830 hectares of land under its Behali Reserved Forest area is under the encroachment of Arunachali people, while 1,300 hectares of the land of the Forest is under encroachment of State�s own people.
This was stated by Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain in reply to a question from Pallav Lochan Das (Congress).
The Minister said that the State Government has not been able to initiate any steps to evict the Arunachali encroachers from this reserved forest due to a directive of the Supreme Court of India to maintain status quo till the actual Arunachal Pradesh-Assam interstate border is determined.
Since 1984, on 17 occasions eviction drives have been conducted in the Behali Reserved Forest. An observatory post is under construction at Rangagara to strengthen patrolling in the Reserved Forest. About 60 per cent of the construction work of the post is completed.
Altogether 12 temporary houses illegally built by the Arunachali people were evicted from the Reserved Forest on November 23, 2011 by Forest Department. On December 21, 2011, two temporary houses illegally built by Arunachali people inside the RF were also evicted. Now vigil has been strengthened to prevent encroachment bids by Arunachali people, he said.