On Sunday, Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that from 2016 to 2020, the Assam government cleared approximately 3,400 hectares of forest area of encroachments. Between April and June 23, this year, 915.05 hectares of land were cleansed of encroachment, he said.

Between 2016 and 2020, the Forest Department demolished 2,960 unlawful constructions in reserve forests, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and other protected areas, arresting 194 people, he added.

“We have adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards encroachments in protected areas and stringent legal action is being taken against offenders,” he said.

According to the minister, the Forest Department is committed to clearing forest land of encroachments with the support of civil and police administrations. Mr. Suklabaidya said the department made a profit of 302.38 crores from sand and stone quarries in minor mineral concession areas in 2020-21 and 20.02 crore so far this year.

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