75 lakhs saplings to be planted within August – CM N Biren

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Chief Minister N Biren said the state government will take strong measures to give new life to the destroyed forest tracts and to prevent further destruction. He called upon the people of the state on the occasion of World Environment Day 2022 to reaffirm their commitment to a cleaner, greener and safer environment. N Biren has conveyed that the State Government is targeting to plant 75 lakhs saplings across the State within the month of August of this year. The initiative is being taken up as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark 75 years of Independence.

He urged the people of the state to extend support and participate in the restoration and preservation of the ecological balance of Manipur for the well-being of future generations.

The Chief Minister was addressing the gathering at the observation function of World Environment Day held on Sunday at Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) Site, Heirangoithong Maibam Leikai. The State Level observation was organised by the Directorate of Environment & Climate Change on the United Nations theme “Only One Earth”.

To ensure the achievement of the plantation target, Chief Minister Biren stressed the need to allocate each college in the State, with the task to carry out plantation drives at one hill located in valley areas. He continued that tree saplings for the same would be provided by the Horticulture and Forest Department while the expenses are to be borne by the Forest Department.

He also sought the support and involvement of all sections of people, local clubs, and different Riders’ Groups in the initiative to mitigate the degradation of the environment and climate change.

The Chief Minister informed that tree plantation had been carried out at around 300 hectares of land under the Green Manipur Mission so far and the plantation drive is still going on. He informed that an amount of around Rs. 300 crore had been allocated for the conservation of water bodies at Lamphelpat.

Speaking about the Sewage Treatment Plant where the World Environment Day was observed, he stated that household wastes from 73 drains, along the Nambul River, are brought to the Treatment Plant through pipelines. The treated water would be used for irrigation covering 43 hectares of adjacent agricultural land, he added.

Informing that rejuvenation of other rivers would also be started, Biren urged the public not to dump waste into the river, instead of putting the waste in a dustbin so that it could be collected from their residence by the concerned authorities. Lastly, he appealed to all the public to support and take their part in making the Green Manipur a reality.

“With the theme for the year ‘Only One Earth’, the celebration calls for collective and transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet,” he said.

Forest and Environment Minister Th Biswajit, while delivering his speech, expressed happiness on seeing the involvement of many women in the World Environment Day observation. He informed that the Forest and Environment Department is taking up steps to revive around 1384 spring sources and also to conserve around 1591 water bodies in the State. He further stressed the plan of the Department to rejuvenate major polluted rivers of the State.

He further announced that the Government has made a plan to set up a Sewage Treatment Plant at Porompat for the treatment of waste generated from Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), by sidelining the waste from flowing into Kongba River. This would help in preventing pollution of the river, he added.

Expressing concern about the temperature rise in the State owing to climate change, Biswajit urged the public to start planting trees and take part in conserving nature.

Langthabal AC MLA Karam Shyam stated that the observation of World Environment Day under the theme “Only One Earth” had made the whole world a family, making every citizen take responsibility to save nature. Stressing the need for collective responsibility in giving a true meaning to World Environment Day, he appealed to everyone to plant a tree today.

Chief Secretary, Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary M.H. Khan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest A.K. Joshi, Vice-Chancellor, Dhanamanjuri University Prof. N. Rajmuhon Singh, Director, Environment & Climate Change Dr. Y. Nabachandra Singh, Officials of Environment Department and members of Royal Riders Manipur attended the programme among others.

As part of the programme, Chief Minister Biren led the other dignitaries in planting tree saplings at the STP site. World Environment Day Stickers and T-shirts and Caps were also released during the occasion.

Brand Ambassador, CM’s Green Manipur Mission Valentina Elangbam was also felicitated during the programme. Later, Chief Minister Biren flagged off Royal Riders “Motorcycle Rally” to spread awareness on World Environment Day.

MAHUD PD&PR Minister, Yumnam Khemchand Singh appealed to the people to take initiatives to save the environment and keep the ecology in balance for the welfare of humans in particular.

He made the above statement while attending as a Chief Guest of the observation of World Environment Day which was held at UNACCO Residential School, Chanung on Sunday under the theme ‘Only One Earth’.

As a part of the observance, Minister Y Khemchand and MD of UNACCO N Irabanta carried out a tree plantation drive around the school campus.

Speaking on the occasion, Khemchand said that every year the temperature of the planet Earth is increasing and there is an imbalance in rainfall due to Global Warming. He said that it is a well-known fact that deforestation is the main cause of Global Warming and Ecological imbalance.

The Economic and Resource Development Organisation (ERDO) – Kangleipak in collaboration with the Mapithel New Gen Farmers Club also observed World Environment Day by planting Fruit Bearing Trees at Chadong Mapithel Village. The villagers have planted Olive, Jack Fruit, Tree Bean, Goose Berry, etc. Advisor of ERDO ex additional director MS Khaidem and former Dean of Central Agricultural University Dr. Naorem Iboton also participated in the event along with the village community.

However, a mass tree plantation drive carried out at Nongmaiching Reserved Forest as part of the World Environment Day on Sunday turned ugly when the villagers of Nongmaipan Kuki village barred forest officials and civil society organisations from planting trees there.

The tree plantation drive was jointly organised by the Forest Department, All Manipur Students’ Union, Imphal East, and several CSOs. Divisional Forest Officer, Central Forest Division RK Amarjit, IFS led the plantation drive.

When the team comprising forest officials and volunteers of AMSU and CSOs started planting tree saplings at a denuded portion falling under Nongmaiching Reserved Forest at about 11 AM in commemoration of World Environment Day, a group of Kuki villagers of Nongmaipal including women and youth prevented them from planting trees there, claiming that the area belongs to the village.

The irate Kuki villagers also pulled down and tore the banner used in the plantation drive sparking a strong confrontation and argument between the two sides.

When the villagers barred entry of the forest officials and volunteers of local CSOs, DFO Central Forest Division RK Amarjit managed to convince the villagers and later arrived at an understanding.

DFO RK Amarjit said that Central Forest Division is targeting to plant tree saplings at Khamenlok, Gwaltabi, and Nongmaiching hill range that fall under Nongmaiching Reserved Forest till August 15. Poppy plantation was found in the reserved forest area. The Forest Department is making efforts to plant saplings in the denuded areas. Disruption to tree plantation in the reserve forest by the Nongmaipal village is very unfortunate, he said.

The DFO categorically clarified that the area where the tree plantation was carried out does not belong to the village as per records available with the Forest Department. As per a gazette notification issued in 1990, 125.44 acres of land in Nongmaiching RF was allotted to Nongmaipal village. Obstruction to tree plantation in reserved forest area without knowing facts is quite unjustified, he said

Bishnupur Forest Division on Sunday observed World Environment Day by organising a mass plantation drive at Maibam Lotpa Chingning Awang Leikai in Nambol. Deputy Commissioner, Bishnupur Lourembam Bikram, SP Bishnupur N. Herojit Meitei, Divisional Forest Officer Bishnupur Dr. Rebika Soibam Chanu, village elders, youths, students, district forest officials and staff took part in the plantation drive.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Lourembam Bikram stressed that the goal of conservation is to regulate our natural resources in a sustainable manner. Expressing concern that the present generation exploited the environment leading to climate change and ecological imbalance, he advocated for conservation as a collective responsibility of each and every person for common good.

Bikram stated that disturbance in the natural habitat in Loktak Lake resulted in the reduction of fish species over a period of time. The biodiversity of Loktak Lake must be maintained by way of not polluting our rivers and lake, he added. The DC urged the people to develop a sense of ownership towards the protection of the environment which encompasses a wide gamut of forests, rivers, lakes, wildlife, flora, and fauna.

Thoubal Forest Division along with various organizations organised mass tree plantations in the different parts of the District. Thoubal Forest Division along with RUDA Academy organised mass tree plantation at Samu Manbi Ching Thoubal Khunou. In the mass tree plantation program DFO Tbl. Th.Lokendro, Range Officer Sh.Shamungou, Dy.RO L.Dhananjoy and staff attended. Similar programs were held at Lemba Khun and Inganglok.

PHED Thoubal organised mass tree plantation at Khongjom War Memorial Complex and cleaning of a river flowing through Heirok, Wangjing Tentha and Sangaiyumfam. The PHED Department appealed to the people living near the river to keep clean and not to dump waste materials in the river. They should also plant trees by the riverside.

Pherzawl Forest Division under the aegis of the District Administration also organised mass plantation drives at its camp office and across the district with active involvement of SP, CMO Staffs and other DLOs.

Joseph Pauline Kamson speaking on the occasion said World Environment Day is a reminder of people’s power at the grass-root and community level to bring about positive change in the environment. Saying that we must shift from exploiting the planet to healing it, the DC exhorted the people of the district to plant trees and conserve the environment.

It may be mentioned that World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year to encourage protecting the environment and spread awareness about the increasing exploitation of resources and pollution. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the primary agency behind this celebration. World Environment Day is hosted by a different country each year. This year it is hosted by Sweden. 2022 is a historic milestone as it marks 50 years since the 1972 Stockholm Conference. The slogan for World Environment day 2022 is “Only One Earth”, which focuses on living Sustainably in Harmony with nature.

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