BJP MP seeks solar lights for forest encroachers

Bishnu Pada Ray, the member of Lok Sabha representing Andaman & Nicobar Islands has asked for permission to install solar lighting systems in the homes of forest encroachers who are under order by the Supreme Court to evacuate the forest land.

Ray wrote the letter seeking permission to install the lighting system in the homes of 8,000 forest encroachers in June, and even took up the matter with the ministry of environment and forests today.

However, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests for Andaman & Nicobar objected to giving permission for the installation of solar power facilties, pointing out that the forest encroachers were under orders to clear the encroachment.

“Keeping in view the clarification above received from Central Empowered Committee, the Administration is of the view that for installation of solar lighting system to Post-78 forest encroachers, who are under orders of the Apex Court for eviction from forest land would require prior approval of the Apex Court and Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980,” pointed out NC Saravanan, who holds the title of Conservator of Forests.

Saravanan pointed out that there are 3,538 forest encroachers in various forest divisions on the islands, and the Supreme Court has ordered their complete eviction.

“The administration in compliance of the direction till 31.07.2017 has evicted 774 Post-78 encroachments and reclaimed 685.126 hectares of forest land from the Post-78 forest encroachers,” he pointed out.

Bishnu Pada Ray was born on 19 June 1950 in 24 Parganas district, West Bengal and is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The matter, said the ministry of environment and forests, is currently pending with its Forest Conservation Division, and a decision on the matter will be communicated in due time.