A combined team of Kangpokpi Forests Division along with Kangpokpi District Police destroyed illegally cultivated poppy across a total of 13 Hectares (Ha) in the hill ranges of Phoibung Village, Kangpokpi District.
A total of 45 forest and police personnel joined the poppy destruction drive led by range forest officer, Kangpokpi district. The team also destroyed a total of 10 illegal huts as well as many chemicals and items found on the spots used in the illegal cultivation.
The Divisional Forest Officer, Kangpokpi Forest Division, Ganesh, reiterated that poppy cultivation is a serious threat not only to the society but also to the environment. Uncontrolled and injudicious deforestation and use of chemical fertilizers liberally without any thoughts of its impact on health and environment in the upland slopes affect not only the environment but also cause serious health hazards to those living in the surrounding areas. The fertilizers dissolve in the water making it unfit for consumption. He appealed to the public to inform the concerned departments if they have any leads on the illegal activity and to join hands to make the “War on drugs'' campaign a success. He said it is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and preserve the environment.
In a press release by the range forest officer, Kangpokpi Forest Division, government of Manipur, it notified that breaking up of land for non-forestry purposes in forest areas of the state amounts to trespassing and encroachment into forest land which are prohibited under Indian Forests Act,1927 read with Manipur Forests Rules, 2021. As such, any person found to have committed such illegal activities is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both, in addition to such compensation for damage done to the forest as the convicting court may direct to pay.