ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Departmental Coordination

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This is in the context of the article by Reinmar Seidler and Kamaljit S Bawa “Ancient Risks, Current Challenges in the Himalayas” (EPW, 8 October 2016). To deal with the ill-effects of climate change, an important step is to ensure that different government departments coordinate their efforts.

For example, the agriculture department has no connection with the forest department’s activities. Assam ranks third in the country in terms of forest cover (35%) with a total geographical area of 78,438 square kilometres (sq km). But, in the recent past, in some parts of the state, the deforestation rate has increased drastically. From 1997 to 2007, there was a reduction of 692.76 sq km of forest cover in Kokrajhar district, according to the International Journal of Scientific Research’s report of October 2012. A lot of land under the forest department is occupied by private owners who indulge in monoculture, like tea and rubber cultivation. Quite recently, the state government evacuated illegal inhabitants in areas like Kaziranga National Park and Deosri, near the Indo–Bhutan border under the Bodoland Territorial Area District. No one has bothered to ask why the government has not cleared the privately-owned cultivation land under the forest department. Here is a clear example of the lack of coordination between the different concerned departments. 

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