Chief Minister N Biren led a plantation of saplings at Eshing Chaibi area of the Nongmaiching Reserved Forest on Thursday in celebration of the 73rd Van Mahotsav, 2022.
Attending a formal function held at the Sanamahi Kiyong Community Hall, the Chief Minister released a book titled “The Mother of Dark Chamber” story of a hornbill couple that nests inside the tree’s cavity written by Dr. Kh.Shamungou.
The Chief Minister explained that the book could be translated into different dialects as various communities of the State revere the Hornbill bird and the book will certainly help in bringing a realization amongst the people that even the great hornbill has nowhere to build its home due to deforestation.
Further explaining the need to create awareness for the general public, the Chief Minister stressed that today people are aware of what Reserved Forest, Protected Forest or unclassified forest is, and are getting involved voluntarily in mass tree plantation drives across the State. He further expressed his appreciation for the Forest Department and its officials.
There has been a huge change in the manner of governance, Biren observed, adding that earlier the Van Mahotsav was celebrated inside the Kangla, but now we are celebrating the Mahotsav at Nongmaiching and Koubru ranges.
He further urged the officers to think for the entire society and not just for the community the officers belong to. He also said that it is the responsibility of an Indian Forest Service officer to spread awareness on the various Forests Acts for the people to understand.
Dwelling on government actions to increase forest cover and conservation activities, the Chief Minister stated that the call to save forest cover is not for one individual but for the common good of the public. He further sought support and cooperation of the general public in the movement to save forest cover. Biren also proposed the development of a model roadside view at Waithou.
Further calling on all to support the government in beautifying the Loktak Lake and safeguarding it for the people, the Chief Minister also cautioned the people against disturbing the ecosystem at Loktak.
The Chief Minister further assured to bring a change in the landscape of the State in the next five years and sought support and cooperation from the people in this regard.
Biren also assured that the government will not compromise on certain issues including transparency, corruption-free, drugs, anti-social elements, etc.
Forests, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh said that we should be deeply concerned about the environmental imbalances.
He said that the Van Mahotsav is celebrated weeklong starting from July 1 to 7 every year. The Mahotsav is also celebrated to create awareness among the people for forest conservation and to save the environment, he added.
Further seeking the support of the public, the Minister said that government action is not against any community or individual but for the collective welfare of the people.
He also said that the State’s target is to achieve 75 lakh saplings plantation in the State by the end of August to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of Independence. He said that till date more than 29 lakhs saplings have been planted and another 15 lakhs saplings have been distributed for plantation which comes to around 44 lakh saplings.
He said that the department will achieve the Chief Minister’s target of 75 lakh saplings plantation by August-end.
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Maharaja Leishemba Sanajaoba encouraged the general public to plant trees stating that we are all aware of the benefits of tree plantation.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dr AK Joshi, IFS in his key-note address said that the Chief Minister has not only taken a special interest in carrying out mass plantation drives across the State, but has been constantly motivating the staff and officers of the department.
Today we are celebrating the 73rd Van Mahotsav, 2022 by carrying out a plantation in Nongmaiching Reserved Forest, he said, adding that the Nongmaiching Reserved Forest was finally notified on January 4, 1990 with an area of 67 sq. Km.
The function was also attended by Minister Leishangthem Susindro Meitei, Lamlai MLA Kh. Ibomcha, Kshetrigao MLA Sheikh Noorul Hassan, and Chief Secretary Dr. Rajesh Kumar among others. Today’s tree plantation was also participated by local public, CSO, students, etc.
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