Imphal: A combined team of Kangpokpi Forests Division along with Kangpokpi district police destroyed illegally cultivated poppy across a total of 13 hactre in the hill ranges of Phoibung Village, Kangpokpi district on Friday.
The team was led by range Forest officer, Kangpokpi range.
A total of 45 Forests and police personnels participated in the poppy destruction drive. The team also destroyed a total of 10 illegally erected structures as well as destroyed many chemicals and items found on the spots used in illegal poppy cultivation.
Breaking up of land for non forestry purposes in forest areas of the State amounts to trespassing and encroachment into forest land which are 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, a press release by range Forest officer, Kangpokpi Forest Division said.
The divisional forests officer, Kangpokpi Forest Division, Ganesh, reiterated that poppy cultivation is a serious threat not only to the society but also to the environment. Uncontrolled and injudicious deforestation and use of chemical fertilizers liberally without any thoughts of its impact on health and environment in the upland slopes affect not only the environment but also pose serious health hazards to those living in the surrounding areas.
The chemicals or fertilizers dissolved in the water makes unfit for consumption, the forest officer said and appealed to the public to inform the concerned departments if they have any leads on the illegal activity and to join hands to make “ War on drugs” campaign a success. He said, “It is our collective and individual responsibility to tend to, to protect and preserve the environment.”