Manipur has been recieving adequate rainfall despite change in the pattern of the rainfall. However, the state has been facing water crisis. The problem of water scarcity in the state is mainly due to deforestation in the hills, according to joint director of Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, T Brajakumar.
Brajakumar pointed out that deforestation in the hills has largely affected the amount of rainfall recieved in the state.
"Manipur used to get 1600 millimetre of rainfall in a year but that has changed... rainfall patterns have changed in the state and the main issue is deforestation and cutting down of trees, particularly in hill areas," he said, while speaking at an awareness campaign on war on drugs and deforestation on Saturday at Pukhao Laipham, Imphal East.
Deforestation is majorly caused by burning down of forest for poppy cultivation, which is a major factor causing water scarcity in the state, he added.
While explaining in detail about the water cycle as to how trees absorb water during the rainy season and release them in the dry season, Brajakumar lamented on the increasing number of trees being cut down in hill areas.
"There are not enough trees to absorb water, underground water has dried and 53 per cent of springs in the state have dried up too," he said.
Conservation of forests central circle, RK Amarjit said the state has a unique feature of rich biodiversity hotspot as the state lies between Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot and India-Myanmar Border Hotspot. However, the rich biodiversity has been destroyed for our self-benefit, he said.
The state government is taking up various initiatives to protect forests and save generations and a wide tree plantation is being taken up, he said. "However, the trees that we are planting will take 30 years for mankind to benefit," he added.
With regards to drugs in Manipur, Brajakumar said that one should focus on parenting to save children and that those involved in drug business should be given a befitting punishment.
"We think we are rich and have a large amount of money. But in reality, no one is rich and everyone is eager to earn money. So, some people start drug businesses to earn money," said Brajakumar.
SP Imphal East, Ksh Shivkanta, appealed to people to support the government initiatives taken up against drugs and even advised drug users in rehabs not to hide for social stigma but to come out and fight against it.
After the campaign, a meeting was held and resolved to form Khundrakpam Kendra Anti-Drug Committee which will ban drugs and its businesses. If anyone is found doing drug business, they will be expelled from the village, the committee said, adding that drug users will be kept at rehab centres for treatment.
The committee will also support the government’s war on drugs campaign and will extend support on banning poppy cultivation in neighbouring villages, it stated.
The awareness programme was organised by the Peace and Development Coordinating Committee and Village Development Sporting Club, Pukhao Laipham.
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