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'No rhino poaching, tiger number up': Assam CM says govt created 222 sq km green cover

The Chief Minister said the green cover data was based on a report of the Forest Survey of India.

Published: 01st January 2021 07:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st January 2021 07:19 PM   |  A+A-

CM Sarbananda Sonowal at a press conference on Friday (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said the state’s forest cover increased by 222 sq km while the poaching of rhinos stopped under the state’s BJP-led government.

He told journalists that the green cover data was based on a report of the Forest Survey of India.

“Over the past four and a half years, we planted 8.5 crore trees. We have completed planting indigenous fruit, flowering, and medicinal plants at 24 locations. We want to strengthen Assam in biodiversity. In this era of science and technology, the relevance of our indigenous plants and herbs has increased,” Sonowal said.

He said not just the forest cover, the tiger population of the Manas National Park also increased. According to a study carried out in 2019, the park has an estimated tiger population of 52. Back in 2010, it had around 15-16 tigers.

Sonowal insisted there should be a fine balance between economy and ecology.

“The biggest challenge before humanity today is global warming. We cannot grow our economy at the cost of ecology. Therefore, we have to develop a compromising standpoint between ecology and economy,” he said.

The CM laid thrust on the need for conserving forest and the environment saying the survival of human beings rests on their survival.

“It is imperative that people are made aware of the importance of forest and environment. We have to make sure our forest survives, so there is sufficient oxygen. If there are trees, there will be human beings. During the pandemic, we realised how important oxygen is,” Sonowal said.

Not only trees and plants, insects, birds, and animals also have to survive. All creatures of God are the promoters of biodiversity. Unfortunately, human beings are its biggest degrader, he said.



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