Bru refugess (File image)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has agreed to hear a complaint filed against the resettlement of Reang refugees in Tripura’s forest areas.

The Centre and the Tripura government have undertaken a Rs 1,200 crore ambitious project to rehabilitate 36,140 Reang refuges from Mizoram in 13 locations across different districts in Tripura.

The 36,140 tribal migrants had fled Mizoram 24 years ago, following ethnic conflict.

Environmentalists, experts and Dhanishwar Debnath, who filed the petition in the NGT, has been saying that they are not against the rehabilitation of the tribal migrants but they are against deforestation and adverse effect on forest and environment.

The NGT has sought response from the Forest department and North Tripura district administration on a complaint filed by Debnath that the migrant tribals from adjoining Mizoram were being resettled in forest land of Tripura.

The Kolkata-based eastern zonal bench of the NGT directed the Principal Secretary of Tripura’s Forest Department, the District Magistrate of North Tripura district and other officials to submit a report on the rehabilitation plan by July 14.

Debnath, in his petition referred to an e-tender floated by the Tripura government on November 4, 2020, seeking “certain constructions within a forest area” in North Tripura district.

He said that according to the Forest Conservation Act of 1980, if certain areas were deforested, the concerned authorities must have afforested those areas by new plantations but there is no such additional lands in most districts for the fresh plantations.

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