Forest loss assessment starts

The Telegraph

Siliguri, Feb. 23: The principal chief conservator of forests is on a visit to north Bengal to make a detailed assessment of loss his department suffered during the violence that convulsed the region earlier this month.

Atanu Raha reached here yesterday and held talks with forest officers at Bengdubi near Bagdogra.

“The tentative loss is around Rs 5 crore or so, which we expect will go up when a detailed assessment is done. Yesterday, we could assess the damage caused to some properties and there will be another meeting (at Sulkapara in Nagrakata) today,” Raha said over the phone from Raiganj.

“We have to renovate and repair all these properties, which include bungalows, residences and offices. It has been decided that a list of the properties will be prepared and on the basis of priority and importance, repairs will be carried out. Our employees posted at field levels are finding it inconvenient to work as their quarters and offices have been torched. We are thinking of constructing these properties first, followed by others,” said Raha.

The forest properties were set on fire by mobs in the hills and the Dooars after a police firing at Sibchu on February 8.

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