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66 sq km of Assam forest cover lost
Published on 18 Aug. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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The Centre has admitted that forest cover in Assam has shrunk by over 66 sq km over the previous biennial assessment.
As against the national scenario, where the forest cover has increased by 45,827 Km in the last two decades from 1989 to 2009. But in case of Assam, according to assessment made by the Forest Survey of India by interpretation of satellite data, a net decrease over the previous biennial assessment in forest cover of Assam has been noticed, the Minister of State for Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh said in a Rajya Sabha reply to an un-starred question by Kumar Deepak Das.
Assam is not the only State in the North East where forest area has shrunk. The States where forest cover has decreased included Arunachal Pradesh (-4.85 %), Manipur (-2.45 %) and Nagaland (-6.94 %). Ramesh, also, admitted that currently, an area of 12, 41,522 hectares of forest land is under encroachments.
According to the Minister, encroachments of forest area in Assam has been reported from Nameri National Park (2100 hectares), Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park (800 hectares), Manas National Park (1700 hectares), Dibru Saikhowa National Park (300 hectares) and Kaziranga National Park (7790 hectares).
The Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh too has not escaped with 3005 hectares of the Park under encroachment, Ramesh disclosed.

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