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Manipur govt pulls down illegal properties

The village Chief was also found involved in illegal mining stones in the area and hence arrested, Forest official said.

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Imphal: Manipur government officials along with police evicted people and demolished houses at Waithou Chingol, Thoubal district on Sunday.

Large numbers of police personnel were used to ensure that there was no violence. Many of the houses included three-storey buildings which were under construction.

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Chief Minister N Biren Singh said, “Going forward, let’s follow the law of the land”.

N Biren while going to attend a state function at Khongjom saw the new constructions and ordered a probe. Two officials were found manipulating documents and issuing land Patta to some individuals. Both have been arrested.

Chief Minister has also asked Forest and Revenue department officials to work honestly as many officials were found issuing land documents by doctoring documents, especially in paddy fields and reserved areas.

Many villagers who allegedly encroached on reserved and protected forests have opposed any attempt to plant trees following which the Forest department informed that there are 37 Reserved Forests and 23 Protected Forests in the State of Manipur covering 1,467 Sq. Km and 4,171 Sq. Km respectively.

On June 5, World Environment day, CM announced to plant 75 lakh seedlings by August 31 which was opposed by many alleged encroachers. The mass plantation was organized in Compartment No.7 Iril Block of Nongmaiching RF, locally known as the Ishing-chaibi area which was opposed by villagers.

Forest official said on January 4, 1990, 7.07 Sq. Km was set aside for all the villages lying inside the notified Nongmaiching RF. The government also provided 125.44 acres to one Yamkhokhai Haokip, Chief of Nongmaipal village but the village was shifted two times from the originally set aside area in 1985 and 1995 and finally settled at the foothill of the RF which violates Acts and Rules. The village chief had opposed the plantation drive.

The village Chief was also found involved in illegal mining stones in the area and hence arrested, Forest official said.

The village Chief had earlier moved Court to allow him to take possession of the area not allotted to him but it was dismissed on 17th December 2021.

Forests are for conservation of Biodiversity, maintaining ecological balance, improving air quality, combatting climate change, livelihood, conservation of water, source of medicine, preservation of soil, supporting wildlife, reducing drought, and preventing soil erosion, pollution, and so on, the official said.

Manipur government is likely to start tree plantations in the reserved and protected area to ensure the protection of forests in the state.

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