In order to discuss the issue of encroachment in Tura Peak, the West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Ram Singh had discussions with the traditional village heads, who are locally called as Nokmas, heads of the localities besides officials of various departments at the DRDA Conference Hall at Tura, the district headquarters on Saturday.
A report published in ToI on July 22, 2018, stated that the district administrative head of West Garo Hills, who is concerned about the encroachment of the Tura Peak, held a meeting to discuss over the problems of massive deforestation which has taken place in and around the Tura Peak.
According to reports, the trees in Tura Peak have been replaced by plantation crops, mainly Areca nuts, which are being produced for commercial purposes.
The report also stated that the meeting in presence of the DC discussed the issue of encroachment into the reserve forest area in and around the Tura Peak. The report quoted Deputy Commissioner Singh saying that the “situation was alarming and it would lead to all water sources drying up after 10 years” while pointing out the increase in plantation in Darengre and all along the hill slopes of Tura Peak.
The report quoting an official as saying, “The DC advised headmen of respective localities to organize awareness programmes and sensitize the people about the need to protect the environment and water bodies for future generations. Block Development Officers were directed to instruct the local people to inform to picnickers not to leave any waste at the spot since measures for garbage disposal are not accessible here.”
The report further quoting the official stated that the DC also urged the authorities concerned to spread awareness about the ill-effects of the use of plastic and the that it creates. Singh said that the district administration would issue directives for banning plastic water bottles, cups and plates from August 15.
The DC also said the ban would pave the way for promotion of small-scale industries in the region. The DC further suggested that Self Help Groups be engaged for maintenance of picnic spots and directed the village headmen to take stern action if any illegal encroachment takes place in Tura Peak.