GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - The State government has been granted a month�s time by the Gauhati High Court to evict encroachers from the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary.
The government had sought the time through an additional affidavit filed on July 18 last.
In the hearing held on August 2, a bench of Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Manojit Bhuyan granted the time to evict the encroachers.
�We hope and trust that within this period the encroachers will be removed by the authorities concerned,� the court said, listing the case for next hearing on September 4.
A survey conducted in the sanctuary by the Forest Department has detected some 1,000 families who had settled in the protected area illegally. It is learnt that in some portions, the encroachers did not allow the surveyors to enter. Thus, it is assumed, that the number of encroachers could be much more.
The Gauhati High Court had in 2013 taken up a suo moto PIL over the encroachments inside the sanctuary.
The sanctuary, spread over an area of 78.64 sq km, is located on the eastern fringe of Guwahati city.
Admitting large-scale encroachment in the sanctuary, Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma had, a few days back, indicated that a �force� was out to thwart the measures taken to preserve the protected area.
She had said that the encroachers had even prevented the Forest Department from undertaking a plantation drive in the sanctuary.
The Forest Department has sought help from the Power Department to disconnect the lines providing electricity to the settlers inside the forest area before the eviction can be carried out. It has also sought adequate police protection for the operation.
The eviction has been delayed due to the rains, a Forest official said.