Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 8
Chief Wildlife Warden for Nagaland State, Satya Prakash Tripathi has informed that the Intangki National Park (INP), Peren is in the process of handing over a plain area of 3310 acres to Beisumpuikam village, which in turn will hand over hilly area of 3328 acres to the INP.
The Nagaland State Government (Cabinet) had way back in 1995 approved for exchange of land between Beisumpuikum village and the Nagaland Forest Department at Intangki National Park (INP), Peren.
Speaking to The Morung Express at his office in Dimapur on Thursday, Tripathi said this exchange deal would benefit the government since the area to be handed over to INP is still a forest area which will provide extra habitat for the animals. He said the deal would also be beneficial for the government since Beisumpuikam village has been “fighting” over land issue.
“Once the deal is finalized, they (Beisumpuikam) will also be taking part in the developmental process and it will benefit not only the Forest Department but the people of the State,” Tripathi said. Moreover, the INP would be getting an additional 18 acres of land in this exchange deal since the government would be handing over only 3310 acres which is less forested, he added.
He attributed the delay in the exchange process to the political problem in the state, vacuum of officers, lack of infrastructure etc. The Chief Wildlife Warden revealed that Beisumpuikum village had earlier offered 3828 acres but that could not be processed since 500 acres out it was a disputed area between Lilen and Beisumpuikum villages. He pointed out this aspect as one of the reasons for delay in the exchange deal.
However, Tripathi said there was active consultation going on now within the government to speed up the exchange deal. He said that the Intangki Boundary Demarcation Committee had submitted its report to the Chief Secretary, following which the matter would be taken up with the State Government. The matter would then be sent to State Wildlife Advisory Board, which in turn would send the report to the National Wildlife Advisory Board.
“Any change in boundary of national parks will finally be decided by the National Board for Wildlife, which is headed by the Prime Minister as the Chairman,” he added.
When queried about logging, poaching, hunting and other illegal activities inside the Park, the Chief Wildlife Warden spoke about decline in such illegal activities and added, “we take action when we receive any such reports but our staff cannot be everywhere with shortage of manpower.”
Tripathi also said there was no funding from the State government for the Park and that the authorities were pursuing fund through different sources for the only national park in Nagaland.
He further informed that there was no encroachment issue in the park now and that all such cases have been settled.
One may recall an article published in DownToEarth magazine written on January 15, 2011 by Sayantan Bera who did extensive research, visiting government officials and physically entered the Park. He wrote: “The first instance of encroachment took place in 1984 by a group of Beisumpui residents who had donated land for Intanki forest. They encroached on the land and named it Beisumpeikum. Despite several eviction drives, they returned to the forest. In 1994, a year after the Centre notified Intanki as national park, the state government tried to settle the matter. It agreed to grant land titles to Beisumpuikum residents in exchange for their land lying outside the national park.”
He also wrote that “officials in the state forest department say though the deal (land exchange) is not finalised, it encouraged people from other villages to encroach the park.”
The Intangki National Park currently covers an area of 20,202 hectares and was declared national park on March 3, 1993.