CM N Biren today led hundreds of volunteers to a tree plantation programme at the Koubru range of Kanglatongbi Reserved Forest area in Kangpokpi District.
N Biren said, “Over the years, our forests covers have depleted at an alarming pace due to unfavorable policies adopted by the previous governments, which eventually let the people depend on the forests to meet their needs. We cannot simply blame the people of the hills for deforestation as the problem began when governments had time and again made wrong policy decisions over the years.”
Biren also tweeted about today’s plantation drive.
Maintaining that any government cannot function without the support of the people, Chief Minister N Biren stated that cooperation from the people of Manipur is a must for good governance in the State.
Stating that it is the second time such a plantation drive is organised in the area, the Chief Minister appealed to all people and stakeholders to protect the reserved forests. We should also plant trees in villages and habited areas, he added.
Expressing disappointment in the construction of roads in reserved forest areas, Biren stated that he was really surprised at why the Forest Department and the government officials didn’t stop such constructions which eventually helped smugglers to take away timbers easily. Stating that indigenous Kukis are also bonafide citizens of India, the Chief Minister urged the people not to let any external influence ruin the peaceful coexistence among the different communities of the State. He also added that we should prevent illegal migrants from settling among us.
Regarding the recent increase in the spread of hate speeches on various social media platforms, Biren reiterated that we should immediately put a stop to such activities as they will create communal tension among the communities of the State. Maintaining that it is human nature to access the nearest available resources, he appealed to the Forest Department and the Deputy Commissioner to identify and classify areas such as reserved forests, protected forests, etc. and restrict human activities in such areas as per relevant laws.
Now, with policies such as ‘One Family, One Livelihood’ and ‘Green Manipur Mission,’ massive afforestation exercises will be taken up across the state and at the same time, we will make sure the people who use to depend on forests are provided an alternative livelihood.
Chief Minister thanked Minister Nemcha Kipgen, Forest Department and local bodies for organising such a plantation drive, saying such an initiative needs involvement from all sections of people. Expressing satisfaction over the mass support from almost all the communities of the State on the Government’s War on Drugs campaign, the Chief Minister said that it is with the support of the people that the Government is marching towards completely uprooting drug menace and stopping poppy plantations in the State.
Stating that he is not against any specific community, the Chief Minister added that he is against deforestation, corruption, poppy plantation and drug trafficking in the State.
Ministers Nemcha Kipgen, L Susindro, Th Basanta Singh and MLAs Kh Robindro, L Rameshwor and Kimneo Haokip Hangshing, concerned officials of the Forest Department and State Government, and representatives of Kuki StudentsOrganisation, Thadou Students Association, Gorkha associations, and others also attended the tree plantation drive in the Koubru range.