BISWANATH CHARIALI, Dec 7 - The Buroi Soil Conservation Centre under Halem Revenue Circle in Sonitpur district is in a sorry state these days on account of the lackadaisical attitude of the concerned government department.
The office building of the centre, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Gohpur Subdivisional Soil Conservation Centre (Independent), is getting ruined day by day and a huge portion of its land has already been encroached upon by some miscreants. The forest having valuable trees of the centre has also been denuded by timber smugglers.
It may be mentioned here that with a view to preventing large-scale erosion caused by the Buroi river and also to preserve the riverside land, the Department of Soil Conservation, Government of Assam had planted saplings of valuable trees in an area of 187 hectares of land from Goshala to Kuruabasti of Halem Revenue Circle in 1962-63. Subsequently, the department had set up the soil conservation centre with five employees to look after the newly planted forest.
However, with the passage of time, timber smugglers started eyeing the valuable trees and land grabbing also started. But, the centre allegedly failed to protect its property.
In due course of time, two of the centre�s employees took retirement and the remaining staff were transferred to somewhere else citing the dilapidated condition of the office building. This resulted in the land grabbers working overtime and some even started cultivation of paddy, tea, mustard, etc., on the occupied land.
Local people have alleged that deforestation has led to erosion in the area with around 57 hectares of land threatened by the Buroi river. They have urged the authorities to pay heed to the pathetic condition of the centre and take immediate measures to improve the same.