Imphal: A combined team of Kangpokpi and Tamenglong Forests Divisions with District Police, Kangpokpi destroyed illegally cultivated poppy across a total of 25 acres in the hill ranges of Selsi village, Saitu Gamphazol sub-division, Kangpokpi district, on Tuesday.
The team was led by Range Forests Officers of Kangpokpi and T Waichong Ranges under Kangpokpi Division and Tamei Range under Tamenglong Division. A total of 70 Forest and Police personnel participated in the poppy destruction drive.
It has been observed that poppy cultivation is more prominent in protected areas of the state which amounts to trespassing, making fresh clearings, breaking up of land for cultivation or other purposes inside protected forest which are all prohibited under Indian
Forests Act,1927 read with Manipur Forests Rules, 2021. As such, any person found to have committed such illegal activities is 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, range forest officer, Kangpokpi, Neitinkim said in a press release.
N. Ganesh, divisional forests officer, Kangpokpi Forests Division warned that such illegal trespassing will not be tolerated and as such anyone found to violate the warning will be dealt with as per the law.
He reiterated that illegal poppy cultivation is a serious threat not only to the society but also to the environment with uncontrolled deforestation and use of liberal chemical fertilizers in the upland slopesimpacting the environment as well as posing health hazards to those living in the surrounding villages. The chemicals used dissolve in the water making them unfit for consumption. He appealed to the public to inform the concerned departments if they have any information on the illegal activity and to join hands to make “ War on drugs” campaign a success.