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Flash Back November 1998

In Line With Green Cover

Nature has endowed the North East with endless beauty and rich resources. However, this affluent gift of nature has been eroding fast, thick forests are eroding fast and many species of flora and fauna have vanished completely while some are on the brink of extinction.

According to the herbal medicine practitioners, the rich medicinal plants are losing their medicinal prowess. While the environmentalists opine that the rich perennial streams of the region are drying up slowly, the monsoons have become so irregular that floods and droughts occur frequently. The reason for this, they opined, is the massive deforestation of the region.

The Forest Survey of India, in its report, shows that the North East had lost a total area of 1734 sq kms of forest cover during 1991 to 1997. It shows that the total forest cover of the region during the year 1991 was 16777 sq km which has declined to 165143 sq km in 1993, 164359 sq km in 1995 and 164043 sq km in 1997. This shows the constant decline of forest cover in the region.

According to Mr. Promode Kant, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forest (Central), and also the Adviser, Forest to the North Eastern Council (NEC), the ever decreasing forest cover in the North East is due to the continued practice of shifting cultivation and excessive unscientific timber exploitation of the people.