GANGTOK: January 24, 2012
During the Chief Minister’s village to village tour numerous schemes/ activities has been sanctioned/ approved/ discussed pertaining to the Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department (FE&WM). During a press meet regarding the approved schemes Secretary cum PCCF, FE&WM S.T Lachungpa informed that the projects have been sanctioned district wise along with the issues and other concerns.
He informed that in the South district 15 projects schemes has been sanctioned and few of these schemes/ projects has already been completed such as plantation in drought prone areas of Lower Assangthang- Salgari by Social Forestry and Non Timber Forest Production (NTFP).
This project is mainly to give importance to drought prone areas. Where as Salgari South Sikkim especially is the most drought prone area, hence the plants like Amla and wild banana are to be planted, he added. This has been undertaken by Territorial, land use, Social Forestry and NTFP divisions from Environment CESS- Rs 5 lakhs and TFC- Rs 19.60 lakhs. This scheme has already been completed. The Footpath Development at Damthang is undertaken by DFO (LUE) South. The amount estimated in this project is 50 lakhs. Similarly Foot path development at Amlathen; 5 lakhs has been sanctioned for this scheme and it is undertaken by DFO (T) South. This scheme involves completion of remaining footpaths. Further he informed that the plantation of medicinal plants like Chirato at Damthang Pakchey GPU by the Women’s Co- operative Society under has also been completed. Even the beautification of Kamrang College has been done. This work was undertaken by DFO (LUE) South. Other schemes/ projects like the muck dumping yard at Khechudumra and Karfectar, plantation at Posong Salgari and Kamrang and Making Rabongla the Rhododendron Town has been completed, he added. Since Khechudumra has the potential to become one of the best eco tourism spots hence the development work of Khechudumra for making it the best picnic spot of Sikkim is under progress. A forest Rest House at Melli is under construction.
Similarly in West Sikkim 4 scheme/ projects has been sanctioned namely development of Batasia as a picnic spot, forest boundary demarcation from Maybong – Singyong, reconstruction of the forest guard quarter at Reshi Bazaar and chirato cultivation at Rumbuk.
In East District development of picnic spot at Water Garden, Sisney Laja village and development of Botanical garden. For the former scheme field inspection has been done and a Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been made and for the latter DPR is under preparation which is expected to complete by March 2012.
Further informing about North Sikkim Lachungpa said that in Lachung a survey was conducted and 300 trees have been identified for allotment to the beneficiaries as per the list submitted by the Pipon of Lachung. Forest Rest House to be beautified at Lachung, also Mangan and Chungthang Bazaar to undergo beautification. Basic amenities to be developed at Gurudongmar Lake for the visitors, thee re building of 14 houses which was damaged during the September earthquake at Ship- Gyer to be supported and the maiking of Dikchu- Sangkalang- Mangan Road and Toong- Sangkalang Road.
The Secretary also acquainted about the various areas of discussion/ concern such as the trees which were posing threat to the meditation huts at Samdruptse has been removed and also the removal of the unauthorized canteen at Char Dham has been done. A committee has been formed to discuss about the regularization of Taungyadars (Forest villagers) at Upper Rayong, Rangpo, Naya Bazaar and Majhitar compound. He further added that the paddy fields at Alay have been purchased for Kitam Bird Sanctuary.
As an aftermath of the earthquake a trail of destruction and damages to the infrastructure of the FE&WM was reported therefore in order to restore the forest infrastructure a proposal called Detailed Project Report on restoration/ renovation of forest infrastructure damaged by the earthquake was prepared and submitted to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for funding. This project amounting to Rs 1312.25 lakhs has been accorded formal approval by JICA and the activities are likely to be commenced in the state by February 2012, Lachungpa concluded.