Kangpokpi Forest Division all out to fight deforestation menace
Imphal: Kangpokpi Forest Division and other agencies have carried out destruction of Poppy in 19 instances in 2022-23 in which 590 Acres of area under poppy cultivation was cleared of poppy and FIR were filed in 14 instances by officers of the division under Section 26 of Indian Forest Act and ND & PS Act.
Operations to clear poppy of remaining areas is still going on. The division was ably supported by foresters of central and Senapati Division. Drone survey is also being conducted to identify areas under cultivation of any form on Reserved Forest (RF) land and Forest Offence cases will also be filed against people indulging in any form of cultivation in RF, a press release by N Ganesh, IFS, Divisional Forest Officer, Kangpokpi Forest Division, Manipur on Saturday.
The Range Forest officers were ordered to investigate into the matters of poppy cultivation inside Reserved Forest Areas in August 2022. This office has issued summons to around 23 villages namely
Phaijang, A.Songpijang, Phailengkot, Thomjang, Phoibung, Thotne, Makuli, Chandraman, Amaledara, Mahabir, L.Thomjang, Mangjol, Kolpechang, Lhangkichoi, Kaithelmanbi, Chingloubung, Gopibung, Kangpokpi Ward no 14, Saikotjang, Tujang,Kholjang and investigated the matter thoroughly with respect to Poppy cultivation within the Kanglatongbi Kangpokpi RF (KKRF)/ Koubru Hill Range and other RF areas.
Complaints has been registered against 24 such cultivators of poppy inside RF in last two days besides FIRs in 14 instances filed earlier. More FIRs will be filed based on further investigation. The DFO has coordinated with Police to effect the arrest of these offenders immediately under IFA 1927 and NDPS acts. This exercise has been carried out on a regular basis, but not just as a knee jerk reaction, the release said.
Apart from Poppy destruction, on other fronts of Forest management, this office will be dispatching a team of Forest officials to camp permanently at Koubru peak for the entire fire season to prevent any forest fire in the KKRF. The team will be patrolling the entire KKRF area, operating from Koubru peak and will also be involved in making large fire lines in KKRF which will act as break to any forest fire. Also keeping the fire season in mind and as a preventive measure to avoid any forest fire, restrictions were imposed on camping, trekking, expedition, etc without the permission of competent Authority inside KKRF vide order of the DFO Kangpokpi, dated January 26, it added.
In the last one year over 1 lakh seedlings have been planted by the division at Koubru hill range alone. In the upcoming plantation season, the division has plans to plant more than 1.5 lakh seedlings at Koubru ranges.
The division has also conducted Joint Survey for demarcation of Reserve Forest and Protected Forest which will be followed by consolidation. Joint Survey and signing of map is completed for Khumanthou Ching RF and Kharam PF. Joint survey and map preparation has been done for Kangchup RF and Kangchup Chiru RF and are pending with DC, Imphal West for signature. About 95 percent of Joint Survey in KKRF has also been completed. Joint survey has also been started for Imphal-Iril PF and Kangchup Laimakhong Irang PF as well. Demarcation will be followed by laying of boundary pillars and consolidation of RF/PF. The division was able to attain a huge progress in last 4 to 5 months in Survey and demarcation.
The division has issued Eviction notices to 30 encroachers in KKRF at Mahavir and Thotne. The encroachers will be evicted on 2nd and 3rd week of February after following due procedure. It may also be noted that the Division has evicted resorts and houses from Kangchup Chiru Reserved Forest on 1st week of December 2022.
It has come as a shock to the department about Phayeng villagers’ accusation regarding the eviction drive carried out at Kangchup Chiru RF. “Whereas we have acted upon the encroachers very recently and further eviction is put on hold due to stay order by the Honourable High Court.” The impending case was filed by one of the encroachers of Phayeng village only, where a resort was evicted last December. It is a matter of fact that Kangchup Chiru RF is notified in 1948 and has an area of 2.59 Sq. miles (and not Sq.Km as claimed by Phayeng) and is a record of the department. The double standards of the Phayeng village is highly condemnable. It is also notable that apart from Umang Lai area of Phayeng, which is being conserved by the community, there are encroachers in the southern side of the Reserved Forest, in the name of Phayeng Khunou, which is very well part of the Kangchup Reserved Forest, the divisional Forest officer said.
With the arrival of forest fire season, Forest department has laid
emphasis on awareness generation by maximum registration of people on FSI Forest Fire alert portal. A total of 4,980 people have already being registered on fire alert portal from Manipur state which includes 2,546 from the Kangpokpi Division.
The division is also conducting Forest Fire awareness workshop and conducting regular patrolling of forest for forest fire. Cutting of fire lines across division is also being focused upon.
“We are aware of the water crisis gripping the city, given the fact that
the catchment areas of Singda and Imphal river lies in Kangpokpi district.” The Forest department has also prepared a detailed plan for conservation and development of Singda and Imphal-Iril watershed under Indo-German Project. Out of the total area of 2416 Ha under Singda watershed, interventions are already being undertaken in 1042 Ha in form of plantation, Soil Moisture Conservation works, Area closure, Riparian Afforestation, Jhum Conservation Buffer, Assisted Natural Regeneration. Also livelihood activities and Entry Point
Activities such as construction of Water reservoirs, Drainage/Channel facilities, setting up of nurseries, empowering Self Help Groups through skill upgradation and helping set up value chain addition units are already underway in 5 villages of Singda catchment area. In Imphal watershed too interventions has been launched and will be executed in next 3-4 years in 174 SqKm out of 503 SqKm hectares across 19 villages which involve plantation, Soil moisture conservation works and livelihood generation. “Clean Imphal River Campaign” was launched on a large scale in association with volunteers and other government agencies whereby stretches of the Imphal river was cleaned up.
Under the guidance of the chief minister, Environment and Forests and PCCF and HoFF minister, this division is performing exemplarily
and ramped up activities to contain deforestation in the division. Kangpokpi Forest Division has multitude of works/activities such as Restoration of Degraded Forest Lands, Poppy destructions, Joint Survey of Reserved Forests and Protected Forests, Forest Fire Control-Prevention and Management, Afforestation, Control on Wood Based Industries, Transit of Forest Produces and implementing various CSS schemes such as Green India Mission, NAP, CAMPA,
TRIFED and is one of the Project Division of Indo-German Project under Imphal river watershed and Singda river watershed. It may be noted that 75 percent of the divisional area is either Protected Forest or Reserved Forests. The division is also mauled by shortage of staffs, lack of arms and infrastructure but all the staff are putting in their best efforts to save forest for greener Manipur, the Forest officer said.
The DFO Kangpokpi has appealed to the people to not indulge in
cultivation of poppy and not involve in any form of encroachment into forest and or breaking up of land inside RF for cultivation etc. Such acts attract penalties under Sec 26 of Indian Forest Act,1927 read with Manipur Forest Rules,2021. The DFO has also instructed that FIRs be registered against village chiefs if any land is found cultivated for poppy in forest. DFO has also appealed for maximum registration with regard to forest fire alert on FSI alert portal @https://fsiforestfire.gov.in/registration.php and refraining from indulging inkindling of any fire in Reserved Forest which is punishable under Section 26(b) of Indian Forest Act,1927.DFO has also insisted on maximum participation of people in upcoming plantation drives to contribute towards green Manipur and green Kangpokpi. Kangpokpi Forest Division hereby reaffirms its commitment to conserve and protect its forest, the divisional Forest officer said.