The attention of principal chief conservator forest, director of the environment and climate change, deputy commissioner of Imphal West have been drawn, calling to stop felling of several aged old trees, including sacred Peepal trees locally known as “Sana-Khongnang” along Canchipur to Lilong.
The Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR), representing the youth of the state, have sent a letter to the concerned for urgent attention to stop felling old-aged trees growing along the roadside of Lilong Bridge to Manipur University, Canchipur.
In the letter, it is stated that 13 aged-old trees, including the sacred Sana Khongnang trees are going to be felled as a part of the ongoing road expansion project of Imphal to Moreh. One cannot deny the fact that the deputy commissioner, Imphal West, forest department, and directorate of environment and climate change earlier have failed to protect and preserve the centuries-old trees from felling in different areas of Manipur in the name of road expansion and other projects, the letter stated.
Recently, a number of Banyan and Peepal trees were reportedly felled at Lamboi Khongnankhong, Wangbal, and Khonghampat areas. And it is very unfortunate that the concerned authorities responsible to protect the environment failed to recognised the importance of old mature trees like Peepal, Banayan, etc which gives the maximum quantity of oxygen, many health, and medicinal benefits besides their unique beauty and cultural significance, the YFPHR said in the letter.
It is very unfortunate that the departments which are entitled to mitigate climate change are providing clearance to cut down the trees without making any alternatives, it added.
It is very important to note that felling of 13 trees is equivalent to killing 52 persons as a fully grown tree provides oxygen for persons per day, the letter stated.
Therefore, the YFPHR urges the concerned authorities to immediately protect the trees from being cut down in the name of development and direct the concern to review the proposed plan to cut the trees, urge to recognise the importance to mitigate climate change, and urge to uproot the trees and replace it in suitable areas as an alternative.