Social activist, Greneth M Sangma has today written to the Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife Division) seeking the early appointment of a full-fledged Range Forest Officer at the Baghmara Range – Wildlife Division in South Garo Hills district.
In his letter, Sangma pointed out that Grenfield Marak was taking charge of the Baghmara Forest Range since 2015 in the absence of a permanent ranger as no one has been appointed since the last rangers moved out of the BNP Division in the district.
The activist pointed out that the Angratoli Reserve, Siju Reserve and Panda Reserve under the Wildlife Division (BNP) are all connected through state and NH roads.
“People are fearful to travel through these reserves due to the movement of wild animals and villagers are facing difficulties from surrounding areas due to frequent movement of wild animals from the forest reserves,” said Sangma in his letter.
The activist alleged that villages living nearby these forest reserves have complained that duty by the staff was irregular and insufficient.
“The department seems to be lacking in manpower to cover the entire region. This lack of foresters is posing a huge challenge to the people in SGH and needs to be addressed quickly,” he said.
He further moved for more funds to be provided to the SGH Wildlife Division so that more people can be employed to cover the region. He also opined that with the Baghmara Range Forest area being broad another separate new Range Forest Office along with officers needed to be set up at Gasuapara, South Garo Hills.
Sangma sought the immediate intervention of the CCF – Wildlife to look into the matter and ensure the situation was taken care of.
Sangma’s complaint comes at a time when a source pointed out that half the vacancies in the department are yet to be filled.