Imphal: In continuation of the Manipur government’s effort on “ War on drugs”, a combined team of Kangpokpi Forest Division and district police led by range forest officer, Motbung Range trekked the Kanglatongbi Kangpokpi Reserved Forest Hill ranges to check for encroachment and illegal poppy cultivation.
The team came across areas with illegal poppy cultivation which were promptly destroyed. A total of 7-10 acre of area were cleared of illegal poppy cultivation. The range forest officer has already begun process to file FIR. Efforts against illegal activities and poppy cultivation will continue, Kangpokpi range forest officer Neitinkim said on Thursday.
Kanglatongbi Kangpokpi Reserved Forest was notified as Reserved Forest vide order No.55/10/68-M dated 3rd July 1968 of the Secretariat –forest branch, government of Manipur. The divisional forest officer (DFO), Kangpokpi Forest Division, N. Ganesh warned those fringe villages of KK RF, that stern action will be taken up for those who are indulged in Poppy Cultivation in RF areas.
He said an Investigation will be initiated by the Division in coordination with Police and NAB and the culprits will be booked under both Indian Forest Act 1927 and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. He lauded the Forest staffs for their vigil on the Reserved Forests.
Real time monitoring of Reserved Forest based on Satellite Imagery every fortnight is the need of the hour, given the vast tracts of forest lands and poor forest staff strength, Ganesh said.
The DFO reiterated that as per Section 26 of Indian Forest Act, 1927, trespassing, making fresh clearings, breaking up of land for cultivation or other purposes inside a Reserved Forest are prohibited. As such, any person found to have committed such illegal activities shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both, in addition to such compensation for damage done to the forest as the convicting Court may direct to pay.
He appealed to the public to refrain from trespassing and committing any offence inside the Reserved Forest and come forward help to identify those responsible for such heinous activities.