The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has served a notice to the Tripura Government and Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, seeking response on resettlement of displaced Brus, in forest areas of North Tripura district that comprises over 250 hectares of land.
NGT’s Eastern Zone bench comprising Justice B Amit Sthalekar (Judicial Member) and Saibal Dasgupta (expert member) served the notice to 8 respondents, after hearing a petition filed by one Dhanishwar Debnath.
The NGT has directed Tripura Principal Secretary of Forest Department, District Magistrate of North Tripura and other officials to submit a report on the rehabilitation plan by July 14.
“The further grievance of the applicant is that this area wherein the applicant and others reside is under green cover and is a good forest area comprising more than 250 Ha and it is this forest area over which the construction is sought to be made to resettle the Bru community in violation of Section 2 of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. In our opinion, the matter requires consideration,” the NGT bench said in an order.
The matter will be heard again on July 14 next.
“We direct that the concerned respondents shall file their counter-affidavits by the next date of listing,” the NGT further said.
In January 2020, a quadripartite agreement was signed among displaced Bru leaders, Centre and State Governments of Tripura and Mizoram for resettlement of around 40,000 Brus, who fled Mizoram in 1997 after facing ethnic violence.
These Bru refugees, after fleeing from Mizoram, have been residing in six relief camps in Tripura.