Itanagar: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has granted approval for de-reservation of 134.20 sq km (13419.29 hectares) area of the Deopani Reserve Forest to regularise the pre-1980 encroachment in Lower Dibang valley district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Ministry, in its order yesterday, has set a condition that the state government would ensure protection of Senzen Reserve Forest from encroachment by way of preparing and implementing comprehensive a Forest Protection Plan.

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering had been pursuing the matter, which was pending for approval since 1991, official sources said here today.

The approval would finally allow the state government to regularise the settlements which came up after the devastating earthquake of 1950, they said.

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