Arunachal’s Airgun surrender to be a nationwide drive: MoS

Itanagar: Union Minister of State for Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Thursday said that the ‘Airgun Surrender Campaign’, of the Arunachal Pradesh government will be launched across the country.

An initiative of the state’s environment and forest department, the Airgun Surrender Campaign aims to dissuade hunting and create awareness on the ill-effects of killing wildlife.

“The campaign is giving positive results and it will be started across the country. Retired forest workers and representatives of social organizations will also be roped in to make the campaign successful,” the MoS said.

He was speaking at an event at the PCCF office here where more people surrendered their air guns.

Further describing the campaign as an important initiative, Choubey congratulated the state forest and environment minister Mama Natung for coming up with the initiative.

The MoS said the Central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a special focus for development of the Northeast region including Arunachal Pradesh.

The Centre has sanctioned sufficient funds under CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) for Arunachal Pradesh in the year 2019.

“Besides CAMPA funds, the Arunachal government has also put forth various requests related to the preservation of environment and forest and the Central government is working on it,” Choubey said while adding that the Centre would always welcome projects related to environment and forest and climate change from Arunachal.

The MoS further added that the union government has provided 13 hallmark licenses (11 gold and 2 silver) to Arunachal Pradesh to take forward the cultivation, storage and distribution of food grains.

Earlier, on the day Choubey also visited the Itanagar Biological Park and the world’s first Hoolock Gibbon Breeding Centre where he reviewed the work being done to save this species.

Meeting with Governor: The MoS also called on Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra at Raj Bhavan on Thursday.

They discussed the conservation of forest cover and national flagship programmes such as Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and Antyodaya Anna Yojna.

During the meeting, the Governor urged the minister to help the state in promoting forest areas and afforestation programmes to recover the green cover of jhum-cultivated areas.

The Governor sought special assistance in maintaining the exotic flora and fauna in the state in a planned manner. While sharing his concerns for the welfare of forest guards of wildlife sanctuaries, he emphasised the conservation effort.

The Governor said that in the wake of the Covid pandemic, the state government efficiently implemented schemes under National Food Security Act and ensured that the needy people benefitted through Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and Antyodaya Anna Yojna.

He requested the minister for enhancement in food grain allocation for the state while sharing the challenges in the implementation process.

The Union Minister assured the Governor to take up the issues raised by him with concerned officials in the ministry and explore ways to expeditiously address the issues. (With inputs from PIB and PRO to Governor)

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