Imphal: Every land in the state belongs to the government and it has the authority to use those lands for purposes that are meant for the development and welfare of its people.
Chief minister N. Biren Singh said this at a mass tree plantation programme conducted at Mangjol Village and Kanglatongbi –Kangpokpi Reserved Forest, Kangpokpi district of Manipur on Monday in connection with the 72nd Van Mahotsav 2021.
“It was the first-ever tree plantation programme being taken up in a reserved forest area in connection with Van Mahotsav in the state,” a government press release said.
Biren led the other dignitaries in planting trees during the programme which was organised by the state forest department.
“We should not be moved by politically and communally provoked thought but should have a mindset of living together with a sense of brotherhood among different communities,” he added.
He said the programme had been taken up as an initiative to restore the natural environment of the region. Such initiative would help in preventing landslides during the rainy season and also facilitate in storing and supply of water to the village without additional measures from the water supply department, he added.
Stating that none is authorized to take up any activity, whether construction or destruction, in reserved forest area without the permission of the forest department, he urged the encroachers to stop carrying out any activity in the reserved forest for their living and approach the government authority for an alternative arrangement.
He instructed the superintendent of police of the district and concerned authorities to meet those encroachers and make them aware of the schemes and policies introduced by the government for alternative ways of earning without affecting the forest areas.
Biren appealed to the public to co-operate in the development policies and projects taken up by the government and refrain from thinking that their lands independently belong to them.
Forest minister Awangbow Newmai raised concern about the alarming rate of deforestation in the state. He informed that about 400 square kilometers of the forest had been cleared every year and with this rate, the state would lose almost all its forest cover in near future. He expressed the need for people’s participation in saving forest areas by planting more trees and stopping deforestation as the forest department couldn’t take up all such activities with its few manpower.
He appealed to the public to cooperate and support in mitigating climate change due to environmental degradation and to stop clearing forests for earning their livelihood but to access certain welfare schemes of the government which are meant for providing a source of livelihood.
MP Leishemba Sanajaoba stressed on the need to stop unnecessary exploitation of forest and to co-exist with nature by preserving it. He also hailed N. Biren Singh for his initiative to develop both hill and valley regions equally and was hopeful that Manipur would surely rise in the path of development with better law and order under his leadership.
The people of Mangjol village expressed happiness on the visit of Biren to their village and appreciated him for his various initiatives to bridge the gap between the hill and valley regions and other development works taken up for the welfare of hill people. The chief of the village also submitted a memorandum to the chief minister for which the latter assured to look into the matter.