Stating that the Kangchup Chiru Reserve Forest was notified in 1948 as 2.59 square miles and not square km as claimed by Phayeng villagers, Kangpokpi Forest Division on Saturday stated that the "double standards" of the Phayeng villagers is highly condemnable.
A few days ago, villagers of Phayeng, under Imphal West district, had alleged that the Divisional Forest Officer of Kangpokpi district had declared the Kangchup Reserve Forest area as 6.88 square km, without conducting any survey.
According to the Manipur Darbar record, the area of the Kangchup Reserve Forest was only 2.59 square km, they added.
Clarifying the matter, DFO N Ganesh, while speaking to the media in Imphal, countered that apart from Umang Lai area of Phayeng, which is being conserved by the community, there are encroachers in the southern side of the reserved forest in the name of Phayeng Khunou, which is very well a part of the Kangchup reserved forest.
"It has come as a shock to the department about Phayeng villagers' accusation regarding the eviction drive carried out at Kangchup Chiru RF," he added.
Informing that the officials have acted upon the encroachers very recently and further eviction is put on hold due to stay order by the High Court of Manipur, he informed that the impending case was filed by one of the encroachers of Phayeng village only, when a resort was evicted in December of 2022.
For the overall reserve forest under KFD, he stated that the division has also conducted a joint survey for demarcation of reserve forest and protected forest which will be followed by consolidation.
The joint survey and signing of maps are completed for Khumanthou Ching RF and Kharam PF, he said, adding that the joint survey and map preparation has been done for Kangchup RF and Kangchup Chiru RF and are pending with DC, Imphal West for signature.
Further stating that about 95 per cent of the joint survey in Kanglatombi Kangpokpi RF has also been completed, he said, a joint survey has also been started for Imphal-Iril RF and Kangchup Laimakhong Irang RF as well.
The demarcation will be followed by laying of boundary pillars and consolidation of RF and PF, he informed and added that the division was able to attain a huge progress in the last four-five months in survey and demarcation.
The Division has issued eviction notices to 30 encroachers in KKRF at Mahavir and Thotne and they will be evicted in the second and third week of February after following due procedure, he said.