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Save forests before it gets worse, Tripura Forest Minister Animesh Debbarma raises alarm amid rampant deforestation in state

First Published: 27th June, 2024 9:20 IST

Still we have 62% of our total area under forest cover, we will try to increase this, Tripura Forest Minister Animesh Debbarma said.

Tripura’s Forest Minister Animesh Debbarma has highlighted the alarming impact of deforestation on the state’s environment during the 75th State-level Vanmahotsav celebrations at Ambassa, district headquarters of Dhalai district on Wednesday.
He expressed grave concerns about the adverse effects of deforestation, including global warming, drying rivers, and increased flooding, which have been significantly felt in Tripura.
Addressing the gathering, Debbarma pointed out that deforestation has drastically altered the state’s climate.
“I want to appeal to the people of Tripura, we have to save the forests because deforestation has increased the global warming. Then we get to see that there are no catchment areas which can absorb and preserve the rain water. Thereby we see the flooding and the rivers in Tripura it goes dry in off season, so I think this is a great concern. The temperature in Tripura has increased almost two times as compared to what it was two years back. Deforestation can lead to a dark side of our lives. To save the forests is not the responsibility of the department alone or the government alone. These forests of Tripura can be saved by the people of Tripura unitedly. We will take up an afforestation program where there will be plantations by the road side, plantations at degraded forest lands and also plantation in almost all barren lands of Tripura. Still we have 62% of our total area under forest cover, we will try to increase this. Wherever people have destroyed the forests, we will try to revive it,” Animesh Debbarma said.
The Vanmahotsav, an annual tree-planting festival, serves as a reminder of the critical role forests play in maintaining ecological balance. This year’s event was marked by various activities, including massive tree plantation drives, awareness programs, and discussions on sustainable forest management.
Minister Debbarma emphasized the importance of collective action to combat deforestation and restore the state’s green cover. “We must prioritize reforestation and conservation efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change and protect our natural resources for future generations,” he urged.
He added that the government has decided to go for massive plantation drive across the roadsides, degraded forest areas and fillup all blank areas and increase the forest cover from present 62 percent areas of the state and revive the forest cover.
Debbarma, also informed that the departments also intend to reduce the man-animal conflict especially between elephant attacks which have intensified in various parts of the state and often fatal accidents are reported of both human and of the animal.
The Minister said that the government has launched a mega project – Project Elephant where various initiatives will be taken to naturally keep the elephant away from entering human habitations and for it planning of trees and avalibality of food for the animals inside the forest is vital so that they need not explore human habitations for that.
He said that the forest department is going for massive afforestation with fruit bearing saplings and adoption scientific technology to track the elephants and keep them away from entering villagers.
The Minister said that already Rs six crores have been allocated from the Project Elephant and in coming days more funds shall be released to mitigate the elephant and human conflict.
The 75th State-level Vanmahotsav witnessed enthusiastic participation from government officials, environmentalists, students, and local communities, all united in their commitment to safeguarding Tripura’s environment.

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