ITANAGAR, Aug 31 - Arunachal Pradesh Government is going to create 200 posts of forest guards to strengthen forest conservation efforts besides checking illegal smuggling of forest products, including Paris Polyphylla, a rare medicinal plant found in various districts of the State.
This assurance was given by Environment and Forests Minister Nabam Rebia on Thursday while responding to a �calling attention� motion brought in the Assembly by BJP member Tatung Jamoh, who sought to know the measures being taken by the Government to preserve the rare species which has huge medicinal value.
Paris Polyphylla is a member of the family of Melanthiaceae (earlier Trilliaceae or Liliaceae). It is known as �Love Apple� in English. It is a traditional medicinal herb known to have many medicinal properties like anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-tumor, cytotoxicity, etc.
Expressing his serious concern over rampant and reckless illegal extraction and trade of Paris Polyphylla, locally known as �Kala Katchu�, which has been enlisted as rare and endangered species by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Minister said, �Time has come for the people of this resource rich State to protect and conserve the flora and fauna, including the medicinal plants.�
�Since it is vulnerable, the Department cannot fix royalty of this medicinal plant and allow extraction of the naturally growing stock,� he said.
Rebia said, a Committee has been constituted on August 21 last to formulate guidelines and modalities for cultivation, harvesting and commercialisation of important medicinal plants, including Paris Pollyphylla. �Cultivation of this species will meet the market requirement and reduce pressure on the naturally growing plants,� he added.
The Minister told the House that required intensification of forest protection throughout the State is very difficult with the limited manpower available with the department.
Earlier, raising the issue, the BJP member from Pasighat West Assembly constituency requested the State Govt to take immediate steps to prevent illegal smuggling of the rare medicinal plant.
Jamoh informed that the plant is illegally extracted from various districts of the State and the smugglers sell it at the rate of Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000 per kg in neighbouring States.