PASIGHAT ( By- Maksam Tayeng )- In a whirlwind visit to East Siang District here today, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest & Principal Secretary, Environment & Forest, R. K. Singh visited Pasighat, Seram Forest Beat under Mebo RF, interacted with villagers at Namsing village and later enjoyed the sun set views of D. Ering Wildlife Sanctuary while on the way back to Pasighat at Seram village Siang River bank.
Singh was accompanied by Pekyom Ringu, Chief Conservator of Forest, Central Arunachal Circle, Tashi Mize, DFO (Territory), Tasang Taga, DFO (Wildlife) and T. Mibang, ACF. Visiting the Seram Forest Beat, Singh took stock of the situation of forest conservation and protection from the staff and interacted with the forest officials and staff deployed at the Seram Forest Beat.
Later, Singh attended a public meeting organized by WTI and an NGO and the programme was also attended by Gaon Burahs and the public. Singh also handed over umbrellas to the Gaon Burahs as a token of gift to the GBs and also dragon lights and calendars were also distributed to the GBs and public by the team WTI represented by a research fellow and a local coordinator, Biswajit Tayeng.
Speaking on the sideline of the public meeting, RK Singh appreciated the noble effort of GBs, NGO and public for their good work toward conservation of forest and wildlife. He also admired the GBs for donating a 1000 Hectares of land in the river bank of Siang river for plantation purposes and for elephant corridor protection.
A memorandum was also submitted to the PCCF by the Chairman, KGCCR cum Zila Parishad Member, Gumin Tayeng. In the memorandum, KGCCR appealed to the PCCF to help the local community especially during annual floods. “We are ready to donate 1000 Hectares of land to the department as a community conservation area for wildlife conservation under D. Ering Dibru-Saikhowa Elephant Link Project supported by WTI”, reads the memorandum.
Meanwhile, Seram village, one of the flood affected villages in the same area has appealed to the visiting PCCF to take strong action against the timber smugglers and its illegal operation in that area. A copy of petition jointly signed by the GBs and village secretary of Seram village was handed over to the PCCF during the Namsing village meeting, informed the village secretary.
As per copy of the petition made available, villagers of Seram have appealed to the PCCF to initiate drastic action against the timber mafias citing several hundreds and thousands of trees have been felled by the timber smugglers in the area for commercial purposes to which they supply to Dibrugarh.
The villager marked that, there is a direct or indirect nexus of forest department and illegal timber operators due to which timber operations are still continuing despite their complaint letter submitted to DFO office twice last year. They appealed to the visiting PCCF to direct the forest officials to stop such illegal timber operations in the region so that forest coverage is protected.
Later in the evening several contingency staffers of Pasighat Forest Division under CAMPA scheme met PCCF for release of their pending salaries, as many staffs under CAMPA schemes are facing hardship due to non receipt of their salaries of several months after funds of CAMPA was freezed.