crisis tided over: The dispute over seasonal fishing in the reserved forestland of Jambudwip island in West Bengal (see: Out of bounds, February 28, 2003) may be resolved in the near future. An amicable agreement between the state government's fisheries and forest departments bears testimony to this. The deal was brokered by state chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
Under the new arrangement, the fisheries department would get 100 hectares of land on Jambudwip for fishing activities that continue from October to March every year. In return, it would provide the forest department with land elsewhere. Such a proposal, as and when the state government finalises it, would have to be cleared by the Union ministry of environment and forests. The location of the land to be given to the forest department is yet to be decided.
salvage operation: The Orissa government is taking steps to offset Chhattisgarh's recent move to levy a 25 per cent entry tax on sal seed imports (see: Sowing confusion, June 30, 2003). At a high-level meeting chaired by Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar, it was agreed that legal advice would be provided to those solvent extraction companies for whom the sal seed price disparity was proving to be a trade barrier.
Meanwhile, the move has started impacting the livelihood of primary gatherers in Orissa. One of the state's procurement agencies, the Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation, has slowed down its purchase of sal seeds in the Bamra forest division.
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