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Nagaland

Patton backs forest officials on eviction of encroachers

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By EMN Updated: Aug 05, 2013 1:16 am
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Staff Reporter | EMN
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 4

Minister of Forests Y. Patton lost no time in visiting the Nagaland Zoological Park (NZP) where last Friday the department had undertaken an eviction drive of encriachers. He made a dash to the zoo after arriving from New Delhi this morning to inspect the last site and was accompanied by the Commissioner Secretary of Forests, L .Kire.The Parliamentary Secretary of Irrigation & Flood Control, Vikheho Swu, Chief Wildlife Warden of Nagaland, T Lotha and Director NZP, Tongpangzemba Ao were also present during the inspection.
In the recent joint eviction drive comprising the district administration, police, and forests department officials a total of 21 structures including a church, were removed. Eight families who illegally occupied space on along the boundary wall of the Nagaland Zoological Park were also evicted.
Later talking to Eastern Mirror over the phone, the Forests Minister stated that his department will never spare even an inch of government acquired lands to the encroachers.
“We will not allow encroachers (individual/group) to illegally occupy the lands belonging to the government,” Patton said further cautioning that his department will come out with very strong measures against the offenders.
The Chief Wildlife Warden o Friday had also justified the eviction by stating that the area between the boundary wall of NZP and the PWD road is within the domain of the Forests department. “The stretch of the said portion of land was left for ‘beautification works’ in future”,he said.
Answering a query on the department’s immediate plans, Patton said he told the department officials to immediately develop the evicted site so that no recurrence takes place in the near future. He said he will request the Road and Bridges department for widening of road at the said portion. Security fencing walls will also be constructed to protect the wildlife park.
Reiterating that the Forests department won’t compromise to allow encroachers to illegally occupy government acquired lands. The minister said he would be visiting Intangki Reserved Forest, Namsa forest in Tizit under Mon district and Bhandari-Merapani areas this year after the monsoon season.
He lauded the Dimapur district administration, police department and forests department officials and personnel for successfully carrying out the eviction drive.
Later, Parliamentary Secretary of Irrigation and Flood Control, Vikheho Swu visited the zoological park and also went round the wildlife park for inspection.
He assured the zoo officials that he will comply with their request to develop a water body for the animals and the migratory birds, inside the park.

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By EMN Updated: Aug 05, 2013 1:16:45 am