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25 Jan 2017

Tea eye on forests

TT, Siliguri/Jalpaiguri, Jan. 24: The state forest department has appointed three senior representatives of two planters' associations as honorary wildlife wardens to encourage initiatives from the tea industry to conserve forests in north Bengal as well as curb timber smuggling and poaching.
Chandan Sinha, the principal secretary of state forest department, has issued an order mentioning that Prabir Bhattacharjee, the secretary-general of Tea Association of India, S. Guha Thakurta, secretary of the Dooars Branch of Indian Tea Association, and Ram Avatar Sharma, the north Bengal branch secretary of the Tea Association of India, have been selected as honorary wildlife wardens.
"Most of the tea estates are located close to forests. Incidents of man-animal conflict and elephant depredation are often reported from the tea gardens. Also, there were incidents when it was found that some residents of tea estates were involved in smuggling of timber and animal parts," a senior forester in Siliguri said.

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