DIGBOI, July 19 - In the concluding function of the Van Mahotsav Week held on the premises of the Oirawat Bhawan at Kherjan area of Digboi, a 340-member strong Green Brigade comprising many women, from as many as nine joint forest management committees (JFMCs) and eight eco-development committees (EDCs) was raised amidst a large gathering. The gathering consisted of the inhabitants of the forest villages under Digboi Division, NGO members, conservationists, wildlife activists, mediapersons, local public and forest officials.
The declaration of the raising of the brigade was announced by RK Das, DFO of Digboi Division on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner of Tinsukia district, Puru Gupta who attended the function as the chief guest. The distinguished guests included the Wildlife DFO of Tinsukia, Mridul Dhar, HN Sarma, wildlife activist, Rajib Rudra Tariang, wildlife biologist.
This Green Brigade is the first of its kind in the State. The youths in 17 platoons of 20 each staged an impressive march-past before the chief guest at the start of the function.
The purpose of the function was stated by Krishna Gogoi. RK Das in his address, gave a detailed account of the conservation initiative undertaken by the Digboi Division of Forests since March 29 till date � a plethora of activities ranging from Green Tinsukia and Save Wildlife drive on Sundays in the interior villages of the division, development of nurseries, add-on plantation in the Digboi Arboretum, motivational drives among the forest villagers, etc. The division highlighted the rich biodiversity of the Dehing-Patkai region, by giving a new nomenclature to the Digboi-Duliajan Road as the Patkai Biodiversity Road. The stretch of road from Kherjan Beat Office up to Pengeri has been renamed as the Oirawat Path. He also mentioned that the process was on to raise the status of the Dehing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary to a national park.
Puru Gupta in his speech lauded the organised efforts of the Digboi Division of Forests towards conservation of forests and protection of wildlife. He urged the public to render full cooperation to the majestic natural heritage of Tinsukia district with 39 reserve forests, four sanctuaries and one national park. He suggested that DFO Das should introduce a ranking system among the EDCs and JFMCs for giving awards.
HN Sarma, RR Tariang, Manoranjan Das, secretary of the Tinsukia District Journalists� Association also addressed the gathering. At the end, the DC made a field visit to the Digboi Reserve Forest.