SILCHAR, March 14 - Besides poor surface connectivity and infrastructural lacunas, Barak Valley over the years is facing an unacknowledged biodiversity crisis. Despite the judicial pronouncements, it is ironic that action by the civil society has lost momentum because of the dearth of proper awareness.
The region has been experiencing the biodiversity crisis ranging from water of river Barak getting polluted because of the entry of toxic elements during immersion of idols, unabated use of plastic bags and tea cups together with blatant violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, courtesy trade and killing of turtles and tortoises, species of which are protected under the Act, etc.
Realising the information gap in the society, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) of Cachar in collaboration with the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Assam University Silchar recently organised an interactive session on the subject, �Save Nature: Save Earth� to discuss the issues affecting the environment and also to find solutions from the perspective of law.
It may be mentioned that Prof Dilip Chandra Nath, Vice- Chancellor of the university attended the inaugural session of the meeting.
Prof Avik Gupta, a faulty of the department highlighted issues like open slaughter of goats and animals, besides covert trade in venison. �Muntaicus muntjak, a species of barking deer has been a frequent prey of the traders here in Barak Valley. This deer is protected under Schedule III of the Act,� Prof Gupta pointed out. He offered a number of suggestions as probable solution to the burgeoning problem.
Nisanta Goswami, secretary of DLSA Cachar, who spoke on the legal framework in India, shared his views and pointed out that the people can approach the court of law to report any instance wherein there is a breach in environmental protection. �We need to generate more awareness among the people and particularly among the students on the issues that hurt the environment and also to spread the information that they can seek legal help to bring the culprits to book,� Goswami maintained.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Parthankar Choudhury, Head of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science said �the session gave the students of the department as well as from other branches like Law and Political Science an opportunity to ask the experts present questions on the ruthless cutting down of trees, measures to protect the endangered animals found in the vicinity and other relevant issues which we thought was the need of the hour to place before a proper forum for redressal.�
Dr Amitabh Singh, a faculty from the Department of Law and Prof M Dutta Choudhury, from the Department of Life Sciences and Advocate Dhamananda Deb also spoke on the occasion.