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Arunachal Pradesh Environment & Forests Minister Nabam Rebia on Saturday warned that the State might face acute drinking water shortage soon as more than 200 rivers and rivulets across the State have dried up.
While addressing a programme organized in Doimukh circle of Papum Pare district on the occasion of Vanmahotsava celebration on Saturday, the Minister further said that the catchment areas of many rivers are also under threat due to jhum cultivation, landslides and wanton destruction of forests.
He also expressed concern over the fact that the State’s forest cover has decreased from 82 per cent to 79 per cent due to rampant destruction of forests.
Rebia urged the gaon burahs (village headmen) to create awareness among the villagers about the ill effects of global warming caused by deforestation.
Lauding the efforts of the Hyer Habia Catchment Area Welfare Committee (HHCAWC) of Midpu to preserve and protect the catchment areas, Rebia urged the village elders, former panchayat members and gaon burhas to form ‘van rakshak committees’ in all the villages for preservation and protection of forests and wildlife.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) M Surya Prakash also sought cooperation from the common people in conservation of forests and wildlife.
Earlier in the morning, more than 500 people, including students of various schools and officials of the Environment & Forests department and the local administration participated in a tree plantation drive during which more than 1000 saplings were planted along the roadside from Chiputa to Kola Camp.
Later, 100 saplings were distributed among the gaon burhas of different villages of Lekha, Chiputa, Mani and Tigdo panchayats.