Pothashang News Service: Imphal: July 4, 2018: The forest department today observed the 69th Vanamahotsava at St. Joseph’s College, Shiphaikhong, Ukhrul, which is the first time that the state level festival of trees is organised at a hill district.
Forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar, K. Leishiyo, MLA, Phungyar Assembly Constituency, K. Dickson, Chairman, ADC Ukhrul, Father Parvis, Principal, St. Joseph’s College were the dignitaries of the function.
Forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar said protecting the environment of the state is impossible without the protection and preservation of the green cover at the hills. Survival of the human race is not possible without trees, he added.
He said that despite knowing the important role of trees in sustaining life on the planet, human beings have been neglecting to plant trees. Stating that the observance is held for the first time in a hill district, the Minister said the festival will raise awareness about the importance of trees and encourage people to plant more of them.
He opined that to protect the biodiversity of the State it is important to first protect the green cover at the hills. He appealed to the students of St. Joseph’s College to plant 5 saplings each. The Minister also promised to construct guest house in Ukhrul and assured to provide all possible help from Forest Department. He also said Forest officials of Ukhrul and ADC members will be discussed for roadside plantation programme. Avocado plantation will be undertaken in Ukhrul under the initiative of Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department.
Stating that the tribals are closely associated with the forests, president of the function K. Leishiyo said that Vanmohatsava, the festival of forest is close to the heart of the tribals. Speaking about the degradation of the environment, he said that it has led to the disappearance of many wildlife animals including birds like hornbill from the state. He said hornbill birds have migrated from the state as tall trees have disappeared and stressed that it is time to rethink on preserving and proper use of forest.
A booklet on achievements of the forest department was released as part of the function.