The Manipur High Court on Monday took up suo-moto based on Imphal Free Press news report published on April 2, 2023 entitled: “Deforestation leading to water scarcity despite adequate rainfall in Manipur".
Advocate general Lenin Hijam informed that when the matter was taken up, other necessary parties, namely, state Water Resources Department, state PHED and Union Environment and Forests Ministry, through its secretary, need to be impleaded as party respondents.
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Accordingly, state Water Resources Department; state PHED and the Union Environment and Forests Ministry, through its secretary, are suo-moto impleaded as respondents in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The high court directed the registry to make necessary amendments in the petition.
Senior counsel S Biswajit was appointed as amicus curiae in the matter with I Denning, counsel, assisting him.
“Since the matter involves urgency, amicus curiae is directed to file a report along with photographs on or before the next date of hearing,” the high court stated.
It may be mentioned that the Imphal Free Press reported that Manipur has been receiving adequate rainfall despite change in the pattern of the rainfall. However, the state has been facing water crisis and that 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.
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Further, Brajakumar pointed out that deforestation in the hills has largely affected the amount of rainfall received 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 April 2, 2023 at Pukhao Laipham in Imphal East.
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