Environment

IFP Impact: Wildlife protection area to be developed in Razai Khullen, home to Manipur State Bird Nongin

Manipur Assembly Session: After the rediscovery of Nongin from Razai Khullen, their villagers had approached to develop the area as wildlife protected areas, says state Environment Minister Biswajit..

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 30 Jul 2022, 5:33 pm

Manipur Assembly Building (IFP Image_Thomas)
Manipur Assembly Building (IFP Image_Thomas)

Manipur Forest and Environment Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh on Friday said that the state government will take up an initiative to develop a wildlife protection area at Razai Khullen, home to Manipur State Bird Nongin, in Ukhrul district.

The minister made the statement during the ongoing 12th state Assembly monsoon session on Friday in response to the calling attention motion moved by MLA Surjakumar Okram.

Four MLAs, namely K Ranjit Singh, K Meghachandra Singh, Th Lokeshwar Singh and Surjakumar Okram moved the calling attention motion on Environment and Climate Change on the need to lift the ban on quarrying of sand and stone, wood cutting; lack of proper policy for reforestation; irregularities in eviction process in protected and reserved forest; and the inability to protect the forest areas, etc.

Biswajit said the population of Nongin, state bird of Manipur, became drastically reduced in the state. It was recently sighted and its photograph was taken for the first time by a team of wildlife photographers and media persons after many years at Razai Khullen, he said.

It may be mentioned that the Imphal Free Press along with a team of wildlife photographers rediscovered Nongin, the state bird, at Razai Khullen in Ukhrul district on July 19 and raised concern over how the bird was fast vanishing from its natural habitat. The exclusive story entitled: Hunting stopped, but Manipur State Bird Nongin faces extinction was published on July 22, 2022. 

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The state government appreciated their actions and discussed abput providing some kind of incentive or support to those who can rediscover such rare species, he added.

Biswajit said after the rediscovery of Nongin from Razai Khullen, their villagers had approached to develop the area as wildlife protected areas. The state government will take up the initiative after discussion with other authorities concerned and leaders, he added.

He further said that as a part of Van Mahotsav, the state government has projected to plant 75 lakh saplings of various species till August 31. So far, as many as 59 lakh saplings have been planted. There is a high expectation that the remaining saplings can be planted by August 31.

Nowadays, everyone has started giving importance to tree plantation and the monsoon had also arrived earlier this time; therefore at least 70-80 per cent of the sapling will grow successfully, he further said, adding that deforestation has also been minimised nowadays.

Regarding the much debated eviction process in Waithou area, he said that it was taken up only for the purpose of saving and conserving the forest, considering the climate change issues being faced in the state. The state government can feel the sentiment and emotions of the owners of the 69 houses which have been removed from Waithou area.

There is a law to punish the encroachers but considering their sufferings, the government will decide about the alternative measures that can be taken up for them, he said.

However, compensations could not be provided as it is almost similar to encouraging the illegal practices of land encroachment, he added.

Biswajit said the eviction was done in the interest of people of the state and for the sake of the future. Surveys have been started in the reserve forest area of Langol, Heingang and other places, he added.

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Concerning quarrying of stone and sands, the High Court of Manipur has already taken up the case, he said. Once the judgment is announced, necessary procedures of identification of legal and illegal quarrying sites will be done in association with the directorate of Commerce and Industries, he added.

Many people are depending on crafting furniture or other wood related business as a source of livelihood, he said.

The state government has started discussing alternative of logging in a sustainable way so that it does not give impacts to the environment, he mentioned. Even illegal practices are controlled to some extent, he added.

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First published:29 Jul 2022, 5:17 pm

Tags:

ukhrulBiswajitwildlife protection areaenvironment ministerrazai khullen

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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