Come cattle or high fire, Land Dept ploughs on

Dimapur, Dec 13 (MExN): The Department of Land Resource Development has been rendering ceaseless efforts towards controlling indiscriminate burning of jungles and loosing of cattle, in the recent years to safeguard its precious projects and abundant forest wealth available.

According to Director of the department, Neise Mich, with the arrival of IWDP project in Kohima district in 1999, the department had called on village councils and made them pass resolutions for banning jungle fire and loosing cattle. The success rate was to a great extent very encouraging, Mich said. 

However there are still instances and reports of reoccurrence of the problem in some villages caused by these hazards for which the department cannot afford to remain silent. Towards this end the District Project Officer of Land Resource Development Kohima, organized a joint meeting on November 23 were about 43 participants comprising of village councils from 22 villages of Northern Angami areas under Kohima district, attended. The programme was held at Red Cross conference hall. 

DPO Kohima Keneingulie in his introductory address apprised of the problems and challenges faced by the projects due to jungle fire and loosing of cattle. On this, he urged respective village authorities and villagers for immediate action to counter the problems. The meeting also took serious note of the heavy losses and ill-effects caused to the department’s projects by the mentioned problems. It was affirmed in principle at the meeting to resolve to effectively ban indiscriminate burning of jungles and loosing cattle in respective village jurisdictions. The following measures were pointed to be adopted:

(a)    Strict vigilance should be exercised by village authorities to check throughout the year, indiscriminate burning of jungles
(b)    Cattle should be fully herded throughout the year to safeguard developmental works and projects and 
(c)    Defaulters shall be heavily penalized as per provisions of law to discourage reoccurrence of such problems.

The department also cautioned that failure on the part of any village in effecting ban against jungle burning and loosing cattle shall be penalized by way of barring the department’s developmental facility from the defaulting village in question. It is also brought to the notice of villagers that they need to keep vigil and control their respective ‘Guruwallas’ (herdsmen/cowherds) since there are reports that herdsmen burn jungles to get tender shoots which, according to popular belief, “doubles milk production”.   

“It may also be noted that since premature burning of jungles in January results in partial burning with least or without damage and disables heavy burning during driest season, it should be adopted as a measure by the villages” Director Mich suggested.