GOLAGHAT, Sept 29 � The reserve forests of the entire Golaghat district have been encroached upon heavily.
It may be mentioned that the forest areas had been divided into four sectors for smooth administration by the State government. The sectors are A, B C and D.
The Diphu reserve forest has an area of 16,365.71 hectares. Out of this, a major area is under the grip of the encroachers. In 1878, the British regime had declared South Numbor Forest as a reserve forest. The total area of this reserve forest was 27,057.55 hectares. The encroachers have settled in nearly 25,000 hectares of this reserve forest. The Nagas have occupied the major areas of the RF. The total hectares of land of the Rengma RF is 13,921.68 hectares, out of which 11,800 hectares of land have been encroached. The encroachers have established 84 villages in the RF.
The Doyang RF is spread over 24,635.77 hectares. But now 24,000 hectares has been encroached. The Deopahar RF near NRL is also under encroachment. To drive out the encroachers from Deopahar RF, the Forest department, the tea garden management and the Revenue department started a survey and advocated proper steps. But till now, no viable action against the encroachers was taken, the local people and nature lovers have alleged. The survey report was not published even after three years.
In the disputed areas of the Deopahar RF, the garden management had permitted the NRL to set up a market.
It may be pertinent to mention that after the establishment of the township of the NRL near the Deopahar RF and installation of a market, the environment of the Deopahar RF has become polluted.
Due to unabated felling of trees of the forest in the Golaghat district, the bio-diversity of the forest and the habitats of the elephants have been affected, as a result of which wild elephants have been roaming in the nearby villages.
The conscious people have demanded the Forest department to take stern measures against the encroachers.