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Bagaha: Valmiki tiger reserve (VTR),  18th in the country located on Indo-Nepal border in West Champaran district,  was established in year 1990 to provide safe home to the wildlife. But, the recent intrusion by the encroachers, smugglers, poachers on the VTR allegedly in connivance of some environment and forest department personnel are being viewed as danger to the wildlife and environment.

The Forest Conservation Act, 1980, Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Environment conservation Act 1986, Tribals and traditional forest dwellers recognition Act 2006 and Pollution Act mean hardly carry any meaning here. Residents of  adjoining areas are being falsely implicated under the various sections of the Forests Act, says JP movement activist Bidhya Prasad of Bagaha.

Whenever the government wants to launch any development scheme for thedevelopment of the region,the Environment and forest officials put their foot down on the plea that non- forest work would can be undertaken only after the prior approval of the union ministry  of the Forests and  Environment.

After fulfilling all conditions about 61.17 hectare of forest land had been transferred to the Railways ministry for Bagaha-Chhitauni rail cum road project on dated August 26, 1992 and in lieu of this, equal hectare of Raiyati land  had been transferred to the forests and environment department. Over Rs. 6.59 crore had also been paid to the ministry of forests and environment but since the completion of Bagaha- Chhitauni rail cum road bridge, the ministry of railways is being blamed for problems facing it the VTR by its officials. A case of Rs 100 crore environment and forests loss had  been filed in the lower court Bagaha by the then Range officer of Madanpur  forests range, on April 2, 2004. But the case was quashed by the high court. However, a committee in 2002 said the VTR claim of inundation due to Bagaha-Chhitauni rail cum road bridge appears irrelevant.

The VTR has once again claimed that no road had been approved along the rail track in forest area and work on NH 28(b) construction, which leads to Uttar Pradesh via Bagaha- Chhitauni rail cum road bridge, is being hampered while former MP from Gopalganj and state congress vice president Purnmasi Ram says the step of the VTR is coming in the way of  the development of this backward  region.

Meanwhile ,Champaran forests conservator cum field director VTR R B Singh says no permission was abstained from  Union Ministry of forests and environment for road communication. A temporary road  had been given to railways during construction period for carrying materials for Bagaha-Chhitauni  Gandak rail bridge project.


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