From Bhupen Goswami
GUWAHATI : In view of border row incident leading to exacerbation of tension at Joyrampur-Chilonibasti close to the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh inter-state border, Minister for Environment and Forest, Parimal Suklabaidya visited the spot on Friday to defuse the tension and to restore peace and normalcy. Following reports of encroachment and destruction of forest from other side of the border leading to tension on June 11, Minister Suklabaidya visited the area accompanied by MLA Bhuban Pegu and MLA, Kardo Nyigyor from Arunachal Pradesh, Deputy Commissioner, SP, Dhemaji, DFO and other officials to take stock of the situation and to defuse the tension. Interacting with the MLAs, officials, village head men of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad and also local people of both states, Minister Suklabaidya said the people of both the neighbouring states would have to live in peace and harmony.
“We must shun confrontation and resolve our problems in an amicable manner. And for that to happen we must restore peace and tranquility and live in peaceful coexistence,” he quipped. He appealed to the local people not to cut trees and to protect the environment as ‘the brunt of deforestation has affected everyone’. The Minister assured of cooking gas connections to the families with valid voters’ identity cards as substitute for firewood. Suklabaidya asked the MLA from Likabali, Arunachal Pradesh, Nyigyor to ensure there is no encroachment and activities like felling of trees have to be stopped. He also asked Nyigyor to ensure that the gravel road running through the paddy fields is not obstructed in any manner. Suklabaidya said the present government led by Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has been trying to resolve the border disputes with Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram. He said as the matter relating to border dispute with Arunachal Pradesh is pending in the Supreme Court, status quo has to be maintained. The Minister said the Government of Assam is making sincere efforts to resolve the border row with neighbouring states at the highest level. “The present Government is not only trying to bring about permanent solution to the border disputes with our neighbouring states at the highest level but also exploring ways for finding solution by way of out of the court settlement,” he added. Later Suklabaidya along with DC, SP and other officials planted saplings at a place close to the border on the occasion of Van Mahotsav Week.