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Forest minister urges TFO to revoke ban imposed on him

IMPHAL | Apr 12 : Forest and environment minister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar terming his ban in Tangkhul inhabited areas at Ukhrul and Kamjong districts as unfortunate and surprising, Shyamkumar urged Tangkhul Frontal Organisation (TFO) to revoke the ban so that he can continue to undertake the developmental work in the hill districts in cooperation with the locals.

TFO resolved to ban the minister at a coordination meeting of all Tangkhul organisations held on April 10.

Speaking to media persons at his office chamber in new secretariat office, Shyamkumar said the environment and wildlife of the state can be saved with the cooperation of the public and department officials.   

State government under the leadership of chief minister, N. Biren Singh is committed and determined to save the environment and wildlife of the state, said Shyamkumar.

He said the department officials are inspecting the hill districts to look after the loopholes and on possible areas for development. The support of the locals is needed for the success of any developmental work, he added.

The minister said the forest department has earmarked Rs. 25 crores for sapling plantation in various areas of the state in the current financial year. The department has collected royalty from different central projects undertaken in the state and deposited Rs. 250 crores in the state account under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, for rejuvenation purpose. The department has various developmental programmes which will be undertaken for which public support is needed, he added.

Stating that Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) is handling the plantation, harvesting and cutting of trees, he appealed to the people to cut trees only after getting JFMC clearance. Mentioning that the forest department has not ban the use of forest products including for commercial purpose by the locals, he said that the trees should be cut legally following the rules and guidelines of the Indian Forest Act and Manipur Forest Act so that the environment is not disturbed. He also said that the timbers he seized were transported illegally violating the rules and guidelines.

He mentioned that the department has been appealing to the people not to transport timbers illegally and specify the location where the trees have been cut, so that the department can do the re-plantation. Most of the timbers which are transported illegally from across the Indo-Myanmar border needs permission from the government of India for auctioning as it is foreign product, he added.


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