NEW DELHI, March 19 � The Centre today said that at least 3172.15 sq km of forest areas is under encroachment in Assam.
Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, in reply to a Rajya Sabha question by Bhubaneswar Kalita, said that protection and management of forests is primarily the responsibility of the concerned State government.
According to reports received from the Government of Assam, action for eviction of encroachers has taken according to existing rules and regulations. Further, under various State sector schemes, a number of activities, including regular patrolling of forest areas by frontline staff and Assam Forest Protection Force, survey and demarcation, use of Geographical Information System for mapping were taken up to prevent and detect encroachment in forest areas, the Minister said.
The action to evict encroachers is taken by the respective State governments as per provisions of various Acts, such as Indian Forest Act, 1927, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and the relevant State Acts & Regulations. The Ministry supplements the efforts of the States in protection and management of forests through Centrally-sponsored scheme, like Intensification of Forest Management Scheme, he said.