Judgment of the National Green Tribunal regarding forests in Arunachal Pradesh, 27/07/2022
Judgment of the National Green Tribunal (Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata) in the matter of Jorjo Tana Tara Vs Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change & Others dated 27/07/2022.
The application has been filed by the applicant (Jorjo Tana Tara), April 8, 2019 alleging indiscriminate felling of trees in reserved forest area which is part of Papum Reserved forest, and part of Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh.
According to the applicant, indiscriminate felling of trees is taking place and though government authorities were aware of this, no effective steps have been taken by them to curb the same and on account of the felling of the trees. This could create human-animal conflict and that may affect even the life of tigers in that area.
The NGT noted that the Forest Cover Report of Arunachal Pradesh, 2009-2019 showed that in the 10 years preceding 2019:
- there has been an increase of 29.61 sq. kms in Open Forest
- decrease of 934.97 sq. kms in Moderately Dense Forest
- increase of 244.09 sq. kms in Very Dense Forest
- increase of 115.81 sq. kms in Scrub Forest
- Increase of 844.09 sq. kms in Non-forest area
- Decrease of 288.83 sq. kms in Waterbody.
The counsel for the applicant submitted that increase in non-forest area and decrease in moderately dense forest does not present a very encouraging picture for Arunachal Pradesh and there has also been a considerable decrease of 288.83 sq. kms in waterbody.
The NGT directed the the High-Level Committee constituted by the Chief Secretary, Arunachal Pradesh to regularly monitor the green coverage in the state of Arunachal Pradesh including restoration of the waterbodies which have shown a drastic decrease between 2009 and 2019. The Committee, if required can also deliberate common issues with its neighbouring states, like Assam.