Assam govt says schools, hospitals were on 195 sq km of land added to Burhachapori forest area
Assam environment and forest minister Chandra Mohan Patowary addresses mediapersons in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Guwahati: The Assam government on Thursday said that state-run schools, hospitals, anganwadi centres and other such institutions in human-inhabited areas were on the 195 sq km of land that was added to the area of Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary.

In one of the largest eviction drives in Assam, the administration, in a three-day exercise from February 14 this year, cleared 2,099 hectares (21 sq km) of land in Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary and nearby revenue villages in Sonitpur district from alleged encroachers, affecting around 12,800 people.

In a written reply to a query by AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam, Environment and Forest Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that all such government and aided institutions were included in the first addition to the sanctuary’s area.

He said the decision to include these was taken on the basis of experiences of forest personnel about corridors of rhinoceros, elephant, tiger and wild buffalo.

“In order to facilitate smooth movements of animals and to connect the main forests of Orang Tiger Project with Kaziranga Tiger Project, the first addition of Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary was declared comprising Brahmaputra, chars (vegetative islands) and nearby government lands,” Patowary said.

He informed the House that the survey report for the first addition was prepared on May 23, 2014 and the initial notice was issued on August 30, 2016.

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“The public hearing was completed on July 8, 2021. Issuing the last notification on February 13, 2023, an area of 195 sq km was added in the Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary,” Patowary said.

The Burhachapori was declared a reserve forest on September 14, 1974 with an area of 4,406.25 hectares (44 sq km) and it was upgraded to a wildlife sanctuary on July 11, 1995, he added.

Also Read | Assam govt starts to clear ‘encroachment’ in Sonitpur sanctuary

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