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MLA requests govt to stop smuggling of rare medicinal plant


Press Trust of India Itanagar
Ruling BJP MLA Tatung Jamoh today raised in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly the illegal smuggling of Paris Polyphylla, a rare medicinal plant found in several districts of the state.
During a Calling Attention motion Jamoh requested the state government to take adequate steps to prevent illegal smuggling of the rare medicinal plant which is enlisted as rare endangered and threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Jamoh informed that the plant, locally known as 'Kala Kochu', has been illegally extracted from various districts of the state and traded by the smugglers at Rs 4,000-5,000 per kg.
"The smuggling of the plant by people from outside the state has led to law and order problems in various parts of the state with reports of murder in Upper Siang district in recent times," Jamoh said and urged the government to work out modalities to stop the menace.
Paris polyphylla is a member of the family of Melanthiaceae (earlier Trilliaceae or Liliaceae) and is known to have many medicinal properties like anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-tumor, cytotoxicity, etc.
Responding to the motion, state Environment and Forest Minister Nabam Rebia while admitting the fact informed that the matter was discussed in the last meeting of State Board for Wildlife and in the meeting convened by Chief Minister Pema Khandu on May 24 this year with forest officials of the state.
"Since it is vulnerable, the department cannot fix royalty of this medicinal plant and allow extraction of the naturally growing stock. A committee has been constituted on August 21 last to formulate guidelines and modalities for cultivation, harvesting and commercialization of important medicinal plants including Paris Pollyphylla," Rebia disclosed.
"Cultivation of this species will meet the market requirement and reduce pressure on the naturally growing plants," he added.
Rebia said that required intensification of forest protection throughout the state is very difficult with the limited manpower available with the department.
"As per our sanctioned strength of frontline staff, one staff has to cover 39 sq km. The department has shortfall of over 158 frontline staff which need to be filled up on priority. However, the chief minister has agreed in principal for creation of 200 posts of forest guard to strengthen the protection works entrusted to the department," he said.
The minister said a proposal has been submitted to the department of administrative reforms and after obtaining necessary approval from all concerned, a cabinet note will be prepared and placed before the government for creation of the 200 posts.

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First Published: Aug 30 2018 | 6:10 PM IST

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