- Sujal Pradhan, NET Correspondent, Sikkim
The Forest & Environment Department of Sikkim asserted that an inquiry into the alleged land invasion by a pharmaceutical firm in Melli is underway, adding that state administration will reach to a logical conclusion, once the facts are substantiated and verified.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, the Additional Chief Secretary-cum-PCCF of Forest Department – M.L. Shrivastava maintained that “forest is sacrosanct and it is the mandate of the Forest Department to protect it.”
He said that the Department is in the process of verifying and corroborating the facts to come to a logical conclusion; and therefore, substantial progress has been made on the ground, with the joint effort of the DFO Territorial (South) and her team and the Land Revenue Department team led by the District Collector (Namchi).
“The consolidation of records to ascertain the facts is a time taking process and is under due enquiry.” – he further added.
The Additional Chief Secretary further explained that sequence of events will be processed, which took place after the Right To Information (RTI) was filed seeking information with regard to the total land under the occupation of IPCA Laboratories.
He elaborated that immediate action will be taken by the Range Officer (Melli), and thereafter by the DFO Territorial.
The Special Secretary of Land Revenue Department – Dushyant Pariyar stated that the Department is in the process of scrutinizing the land records in close coordination with the Forest Department.
Likewise, DFO (Territorial), South – Peggyla Tshering informed about the construction of a boundary wall along the banks of the Rangit River by IPCA Laboratories, and construction activities in the areas partly falling under Government Khasmal land.
She reiterated that the matter has been referred to the office of the DC Namchi for verification of land records.
“Any encroachment in the land under the Forest Department falls under the prerogative of the department to carry out necessary investigation, which is being efficiently taken up by the concerned officials.” – she further added.
Meanwhile, the ACS-cum-PCCF mentioned that the Department is taking all the necessary steps within the ambit of the Forest Act to ascertain the facts without any bias.
He further said that in case of any anomaly or illegal encroachment, action will be taken as per the provision of the law.