Land holding system affecting env laws in Meghalaya: Min

Implementing laws relating to protection of wildlife and conservation of environment in Meghalaya is "too difficult" due to the land holding systems of the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribals, state Forest Minister Prestone Tynsong said today.

"This (land tenure) is the greatest bottleneck when it comes to implementation of the various laws and acts passed by Parliament and the state Assembly," Tynsong said, addressing the valedictory function of Wildlife Week Celebrations organised by the Wildlife Wing of the Forests and Environment Department.

He said, "Many of the projects proposed by the government cannot take off due to the peculiar mindset of the people that government would take an upper hand over their land which is not true at all."

According to the minister, more than 100 traditional institutions in West Khasi Hills district had opposed the government's proposed Elephant Reserve stretching from Wahblei in West Khasi hills district to East and South Garo hills district.

Earlier, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, V K Nautiyal in his welcome speech said the north east is considered as the one of the richest regions in term of wildlife.

Of the 1200 birds species in India, a total of 836 birds species are available in the north east, he said.

Pointing out that Meghalaya is one of the hotspots in the wildlife record, the senior forest officer said, "Due to the practice of jhum cultivation by the tribal population of the region, some of the wild plants such as pitcher plants (insect eating plant) and others are on the verge of extinction and endangered."