Guwahati, June 10 : Assam state forest department has started a massive eviction drive against encroachment in the forest land in the state.
On Sunday, the state forest department had evicted 82 families, who encroached around 56 hectares forest land Rajnikhal area of innerline reserve forest under Hawaithang range in Assam's Cachar district.
A total of 320 security personnel including 120 forest personnel led by senior forest officials, 11 numbers of elephant, three JCBs were engaged in the eviction drive.
The state forest department has also used drone to locate encroachment in the forest lands.
It is to be mentioned that, over 22 percent of Assam's total forest land is now under encroachment.
According to the state government data, the state has a total forest land of 17,39,301.72 hectares, of which 3,87,885.45 hectares are encroached.
Assam has 312 reserved forest with 13,54,467.62 hectares of land, out of which 3,73,876.95 hectares are illegally occupied.
Assam state forest department has made an action plan to conduct massive eviction drive against encroachment across the state.
Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the state forest department Sailen Pandey said that, the eviction drive has already started and it will be conducted across the state.
"The Assam government was worried about encroachment in the forest land and state forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya has made an action plan to conduct eviction = drive against encroachment in the forest land. Under this action plan, drone is also being used to locate the encroachment spots. The state forest department has recently conducted eviction drive in Cachar district and freed 56 hectares forest land from the encroachers. Over 200 police personnel, JCBs, 11 elephants and around 200 forest personnel were deployed in the recent eviction drive. This eviction drive will be conducted across the state," Sailen Pandey said.
(By Hemanta Kumar Nath, Guwahati)