Check if Dihing Patkai National Park falls in disputed area: Arunachal govt asks Assam

Arunachal Pradesh government is concerned if some parts of the newly-notified Dihing Patkai National Park in Assam fall in the disputed border between the two states.

Arunachal Pradesh home minister Bamang Felix has informed the assembly on August 27 that the state government has asked their counterparts to check if it falls in the disputed area.

Responding to a question raised by senior Congress member Wangling Lowangdong, Felix, who also holds the border affairs portfolio, said the administration is aware of the Assam government’s notification about the Dihing Patkai National Park.

“The state government has already written a letter to the chief wildlife warden of Assam to ascertain whether the notified Dihing Patkai National Park falls in the disputed interstate border area,” the minister said.

The Tirap district administration in Arunachal Pradesh was also directed to cross-check the same, he said.

Dihing Patkai rainforest, which has unique floral and faunal diversity, was notified as a national park by the Assam government on June 9. The forest was first recognized by the Assam government in 2004, when 111.19 sq km of the area was designated as Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary.

Assam environment and forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya had said the conservation activities would be strengthened as another 123.07 sq km has been added to the original sanctuary area.

Felix said the state government had on July 15 constituted a High Power Ministerial Committee (HPMC) to work out a solution to the boundary problem. During a meeting of the panel held on August 26, the government asked the deputy commissioners of 12 districts that share the interstate border with Assam to study the current boundary status in consultation with various stakeholders, he informed the assembly.

The 12 districts of Arunachal Pradesh that share boundaries with Assam include West Kameng, Pakke Kessang, Papum Pare, Kamle, Lower Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, East Siang, Lohit, Namsai, Changlang, Longding and Tirap.

Responding to a supplementary question from another Congress member Ninong Ering, Felix said the government will appeal to the Supreme Court to resolve the issue as a case of the interstate boundary dispute is pending before it.

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