JONAI, Feb 6 � The first-ever Poba Mahotsav, organised by the Mising Autonomous Council in collaboration with the Poba Reserve Forest Coordination Committee (PRFCC), got under way on the Jonai Higher Secondary School playground on Thursday.
The objective of the Mahotsav is to create awareness among the local people to conserve the Poba Reserve Forest on the right bank of the Siang river.
The first day�s programme started with the cleaning of the playground premises. This was followed by the opening of a photo exhibition by Jonai SDO Atul Kumar Sarma. A nursery mela and an exhibition-cum-sale of traditional apparel and ethnic food were also held.
There was a book release function and a poetry recitation programme in the evening, which was attended by Dhemaji DC Ajit Kumar Bordoloi, SP MI Mandal and other dignitaries.
The diverse ecosystem of the Poba Reserve Forest with numerous streams following down from the northern hills of Arunachal Pradesh was once the habitat of various mammalian species, exotic birds, insects, reptiles and valuable trees including medicinal herbs. But due to tree-felling, encroachment, hunting and constant erosion by the Lali river, the forest cover has been shrinking every year. The wildlife in the reserve forest has been threatened, but no protection measure has been initiated so far.
The Jonai Forest Department under the Dhemaji Forest Division has allegedly failed to regenerate the green cover in the degraded forest areas even after the implementation of various afforestation schemes. Forest Department officials, political leaders and the Central Government have not allegedly much attention to protect the Poba Reserve Forest.