It is already mentioned that Tripura is a hilly state where more than fifty percent of the total land is under forest. The total geographical area of the state is interspersed with hills, hillock, valley, and plain areas.
Now the point is; Lunga lying area that is the plain land in between two hills. Lunga used to be a good source of land for paddy cultivation by the people who are housing in the hilly areas. In those areas, it is in the lunga land paddy is cultivated after the onset of monsoon.
However, decades of human intervention in the natural vegetation and land usage have brought out the various culpable changes in the agrarian state especially in the land like lunga lying areas.
The affect of drastic changes are prominent in certain areas where there are prevalence of Rubber Plantation (of course, there is no empirical study or data to prove my point of doubting Rubber) and other human influences that has brought out in the drastic changes of certain crop lands of the State.
This climatic change is observed in most of the lunga lying areas of the state. The area like Rani, Mirza, Tulamura and Tuiwandal have seen this drastic changes which has directly influenced the Rice cropping in once prominently known place by the local people for good Paddy cultivation.
Incidentally, it is in those areas, there is prevalence of Rubber plantation.
The affect on the lunga lands are:
• In most of the time of the year, most part of the lunga lands remain under the shadow of Rubber trees that is, Sunlight penetration is very less due to obstruction by Rubber tree.
• Prominence shades during the cropping time have negatively influenced the growth of the standing rice crop in the lunga lands, affecting the total productivity of rice crop.
• Similarly, prolong period of shades also attracted several insect pests to thrive in the congenial weather inflicting the standing crop and recurring loss to the farmers.
• During the month of February to March , when Rubber trees sheds all leaves , it falls on the lunga land which was supposed to increase the organic matter content of the soil but it is observed that dried up leaves of Rubber decomposes very slowly rather it is causing obstacle to the crops as felt by the farmers.
• Another observation is; most of the lunga land which by now has been surrounded by Rubber Plantation is dry and barren for most of the time. The land is slowly turning to the fallow land
• Possessor of lunga land has no option but to choose for other crops or convert their lunga land into some other non food crops.
What can be done to restore the lunga land is the question to be debated by all concerned. Now, the trend is, tilla land owner is not ready to sacrifice his share of land even for a inch thereby ensuring sunlight to fall on the lunga land.
What they do is; they start rubber plantation by planting Rubber seedlings very close to the lunga land which subsequently became the cause of concern to the lunga land owners due to obstacle of sunlight to fall on the lunga land affecting the crops in the lunga land.
There is no mechanism to deal; there is no law to deal the situation. It is only the consciousness and humanity of Rubber plantation owners that can rescue the degrading lunga lands in future.
Of course, in contrast, if the lunga land owners out of frustration start with non-agricultural activities, there is a law to deal the situation. In such cases, possessor would be tried or fined for such illegal endeavor.
The time has come to think for utility for lunga land for effective land utilization without confronting with the existing established norms of the state.
Agritangkol Dated 20-02-12