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Forest stocks reducing alarmingly in Manipur
Correspondent IMPHAL, JUNE 5:
Published on 5 Jun. 2011 11:41 PM IST
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Though Manipur joined in observing ‘World Environment Day’ on Sunday with the theme “Forests: Nature at your service”, environmentalists, government agencies and civil societies and participants failed to address the issue forest depletion in the state.
Environmentalists and experts in the field deliberated on human activities leading to climate change in the state. However, they seemed to have forgotten the alarmingly unchecked deforestation.
Manipur has lost 28.35 sq km of total reserved forest area in the last eight years, an analysis to official reports indicates. According to state forest report 2003 by Forest Survey of India Dehradun, the total reserved forest cover of Manipur was 1467 sq km, 8.6% of the total forest area of 17,219 sq km. However, Manipur state report indicates a reduction of 1038.65 sq km, as on October, 2010.
Out of the total 28.35 sq km reduction in reserved forest area, 16.28 sq km was due to encroachment, the report indicates. Except Jiribam division, out of eight divisions of state forest department, reserved forests were under encroachment. Maximum encroachment was reported in Tamenglong division. Out of 204.65 sq km area, 8.16 sq km had been encroached.
As per Manipur Forest Rules 1971, the Chief Conservator of Forest and the Forest Officer-in-charge of the division has the power to evict summarily any unauthorised person who occupies or continues to occupy any land under the control of forest department.
In case of resistance by encroachers, CCF/officer in-charge of the divisions need to bring the matter to the notice of Deputy Commissioner who shall render necessary assistance through police or other agencies. According to sources, the department had not sought the assistance of DCs concerned for eviction of encroachers adding no reasons were recorded in the departmental records.
State forest department has erected 1235 km boundary pillars. However, sources revealed that 93.50 km (8%) of the total length was erected leaving 1141.50 km without demarcation.

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