People of Zeilad village under Tousem subdivision of Tamenglong district have given their consent and approval to develop a wildlife sanctuary in the area.
Zeilad area is among the six sites proposed by the Government some 15-20 years back for developing a National park or wildlife sanctuary in the State for the protection and preservation of endangered wild animals and plants.
The Govt had first proposed to develop a wildlife sanctuary spread in 21 sq km of land in Zeilad area in 1997 through a notification under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 .
Although the rights and claims of the villagers are supposed to be settled within two years from the date of issue of the notification, the same has been remained pending this far.
Tamenglong District Collector/Deputy Commissioner has obtained the rights and claims of Zeiladjang, Atengba, Taijibung and Tongkhao villagers on October 4 this year.
Based on the proclamation of the District Collector, a team of officials including Dy Conservator of Forest (Park and Sanctuary) L Joykumar, DFO Tamenglong Huri Golmei, ACF Napoleon Rongmei, Honorary Wildlife warden Nemiya Panmei, RO Kh Hitler and Md Amin, GIS experts and Revenue Dept staff demarcated the base line for the sanctuary during Nov 3-4.A meeting of people of the area was also held at Zeladjang village.
During the meeting, the villagers gave their approval to develop a sanctuary in the area located 160 metres above sea level.
Chief of Ateng village, Dikhonang Kamei conveyed his prompt willingness to offer additional land for the sanctuary if required.
Exuding confidence that developing a wildlife sanctuary at the area would improve the overall conditions of the people, land owner of Zeiladjang, Mose Golmei urged the authority concerned to expedite the process at the earliest.
Speakers at the meeting expressed hope that the initiative would be for the common good of the area people.
Dy Conservator of Forest (Park and Sanctuary) L Joykumar said land should not be acquired by the Govt or all the trees would be felled if the sanctuary is to come up in the area.
Only then endangered species would be preserved for posterity.
Wild animals found in the area like tiger, wild boar, hoolok gibbon, bear, python, tortoise etc and endangered wild plants would be preserved along with the historically important Zeilad lake, he said.
The official team came across some tortoise and other young wild animals being put on sale in front of 13 AR post located at Kahulong along Tamenglong-Khongsang road on their return journey.