DERGAON, May 26 � In a significant move, the All Sanchi Growers� Association of Assam (ASGAA) has raised their voice against the Government policy on sanchi trees.
According to a press release of the Association, the State Government has reportedly sent wrong information to the Central Government�s Environment Department about the prime species of sanchi tree found in Assam, which is a rare species.
In the release, the Association demanded that the prime species found in Assam is Aquilaria melakenesis, which has been shown as Aquilaria agalocha. In this connection, the release cited that the Botanical Survey of India through its report in 1991 opined that the species of Aquilaria melakenesis found in the North-East is becoming rare.
On the other hand, the Forest Department of the State Government while replying to an RTI application, showed that there were only nine legal agar extraction industries in the State, among which three were located in Golaghat district and the rest in Sivasagar district.
The RTI applicant as well as the secretary of ASGAA, advocate Bikash Bora told this correspondent that according to the information provided, more than 9,100 such industries are operating in the State, especially in Sivasagar, Jorhat and Golaghat districts. But the State Government showed it as only nine.
On the other hand, the Association also protested the Government�s plan to declare minimum standard value of the extracted oil (Agar oil). The release also stated that at present the three types of extracted oil, i.e. boha, boya and khara aatar is sold at Rs 500 to 12,000 per 11.62 gm.
However, the Association opined that more than nine lakh sanchi trees have been planted by the private growers in Upper Assam so far. But the report of the Central Government did not mention where the best quality of raw material of Agar is found, though it mentioned Hojai, Naharani, Sivasagar and Namti as the places of Sanchi production.
The Association therefore demanded the Assam Government to take adequate steps to correct the data on sanchi trees in particular, and to help the sanchi growers in general.