Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding large scale felling of trees in the Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, 30/08/2019
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Jorjo Tana Tara Vs Union of India & Others dated 30/08/2019 regarding indiscriminate felling of trees in reserved forest area which is part of Papum Reserved Forest, and part of Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh. Even though the government authorities were aware of the fact, no effective action was taken. Such large scale felling can create man-animal conflict threatening the survival of tigers in the area. The forests are also sites for hornbill breeding and nesting.
The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Khellong Forest Division, and the Director, Pakke Tiger Reserve, Cicigusa, Arunachal Pradesh conducted a joint inspection of the area and submitted a report.
The report reveals that although efforts are being made by the Range Officer, the limited manpower under his command has made it difficult to deal with the menace effectively and that has been compounded with threats from the mafia and the miscreants involved in the illegal timber trade.
The NGT directs the state of Arunachal Pradesh to identify the hot spots, where illegal felling of trees and deforestation are taking place and draw an action plan to combat the issue. "Considering the size of the State and the huge tract of forest land that plays the role of carbon sink and considered as lung of the country, the State shall consider enhancing the strength of the forest personnel (at all levels including lower level) adequately which may include revisiting the existing forest divisions and ranges in order to ensure effective enforcement of the forest laws and protection of the rich forest resources in the State" read the order. The Tribunal also directs the formation of a High Level Committee headed by the Chief Secretary of the state to put into action the directions of the court and submit a compliance report.