Updated 6 Jun 2022, 7:59 pm
Coordinating Body, Khurai spokesperson Bon Khurai on Monday claimed that the clash which took place at Nongmaijing Ching hill range occurred between those who wanted to cultivate poppy plants by practicing deforestation in the hills and those who wanted to plant trees in order to save the environment.
He was speaking to the media during a press conference held at Lamlong Bazaar, Imphal East on Monday.
He said Nongmaijing Ching hill range has been a historic, sacred place similar to Koubru and Thangjing hill range. However, some people out of their vested interest conducted deforestation to do poppy cultivation. The hill range was also declared as a reserved forest area on January 4, 1990 which covered an area of 74.24 sq km, he added.
Due to the decreasing forest areas in the hill range, civil bodies, including co-ordinating body Khurai along with the officials of Forest department organised a tree plantation programme at the hill range, he said. However, locals residing near the foothills of the hill range failed to coordinate with them, he added.
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Bon reported that they were told not to plant tree saplings by the villagers and further asked to give them the tree saplings and the villagers will plant at appropriate places.
“The villagers even told them that the area is under the jurisdiction of their villages and claimed that the statement included in the Manipur gazette is not true as the statement could be included easily at one’s will,” Bon said.
He said the clash occurred when the villagers started tearing the banners used in the tree plantation programme. Bon said the villagers should be responsible if any plant saplings that were planted on Sunday in connection with the ‘World Environment day’ are found missing.
The chief of the village inhabiting near the hill range misused the reserve forest area, and the government and authority concerned should take necessary action against them, he said.
A ‘Nongmaijing Ching Laiphamlen and its environment preservation committee’ has been formed on Sunday in order to monitor the illegal activities conducted at that hill range, he added.
First published:6 Jun 2022, 5:20 pm
poppy cultivationreserved forest areaCo-ordinating Body KhuraiNongmaijing Ching hill range