UDAIPUR: The long international border, about 856 km with Bangladesh, is the most serious problem leading to degradation of forest in Tripura, according to Tripura Forest department report.
The official report of forest department stated that the state has a geographical area of 10,491 sq km of which 6,294 sq km (60%) is the forest area as per legal classification in the state.
Due to 856 Km long international border with Bangladesh, the trans-border smuggling of forest produces and Jhum are among the most serious problems leading to degradation of these forests.
According to the Report of the Forest Survey, there are 266-species of medicinal plants, 379-tree species, 320shrubs, 581-herbs, 165-climbers, 16-climbing shrubs, 35-ferns, 45epiphytes and 4-parasites.
Moreover, there are 50-species endemic to Tripura, 2-primitive plants and 7-endangered plants are also found in Tripura.
As per report of the Forest Survey of India, total forest cover in the state is 7866 sq.km .i.e. 74.97 % of the total geographical area.
The State Forest Department manages the recorded 6294 sq.km. of forest area.
Besides managing the forest area, it undertakes extension of tree cover to outside forest area and in private holdings for better environmental management.
According to forest officials of the state, Tripura is endowed with rich flora and fauna and therefore, growing of medicinal plants and herbs as well as other forest based industries including traditionally rich handloom and handicrafts industries have an immense potential to develop.
There is ample scope for development of eco-tourism in Tripura.
The soil erosion beyond the permissible limit especially in the river catchments, draining out of the rain water as run-off water without recharging the ground water table causes frequent floods as well as of water during the dry month, which need to be tackled in a phased manner for better environmental conservation.