The Department of Forest and Environment, Government of Sikkim today convened a press conference to address the on-going issue about alleged land encroachment by a pharmaceutical company in Melli, South Sikkim.
The press conference was addressed by M.L. Shrivastava, Additional Chief Secretary cum PCCF, Forest, and Additional PCCF Shri Pradeep Kumar, Special Secretary, Land Revenue Department Shri Dushyant Pariyar, CCF Wangdi Tamang, CF (Territorial) Karma Legshey, and DFO (T) South, Peggyla Tshering.
The additional chief secretary stated that the forest is sacred and that it is the Forest Department's responsibility to preserve it. He stated that the department is now verifying and correlating evidence in order to reach a logical conclusion. He went on to say that thanks to the combined efforts of the DFO Territorial (South) and her staff, as well as the Land Revenue department team lead by district collector, significant progress has been made on the ground (Namchi). He stated that consolidating records to determine the truth is a time-consuming process that is now being investigated.
Dushyant Pariyar, special secretary of the Land Revenue Department, said the department is currently scrutinising land records in close collaboration with the Forest Department.
Similarly, the DFO (Territorial) was informed about IPCA Laboratories' construction of a border wall along the banks of the Rangit River, as well as construction activities in regions that are partially under government Khasmal land. She stated that the subject had been referred to the Namchi DC's office for land record verification. She emphasised that any trespass on Forest Department land falls under the department's authority to conduct the appropriate investigation, which is being efficiently handled by the concerned officials.
Furthermore, the ACS stated that the department is taking all necessary steps to ascertain the facts without bias within the scope of the Forest Act. He further stated that if there is any irregularity or illegal intrusion, action will be done in accordance with the law.
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