DIPR - Manipur

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Published on Tue, 09 Oct, 2018 Both

Imphal, October 08, 2018 (DIPR): Governor Smt. Najma Heptulla has suggested the State Government to curb commercial killings of wild animals with the enforcement of effective measures. She was speaking at the closing function of the 63rd Wildlife Week celebration organised by the State Forest and Environment Department at the auditorium of Manipur State Film Development Society, Palace Compound in Imphal East District today.

Informing that there are two kinds of hunting namely, subsistence hunting and commercial hunting, the Governor opined that commercial hunting should be completely banned to protect wildlife and maintain ecological balance.

Smt. Heptulla said that Manipur is one out of the 34 biodiversity hotspots across the globe. India has four biodiversity hotspots and out of these four, Manipur falls under two hotspots i.e. the Himalayan and the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspots, she added.

The Governor mentioned that Manipur’s biodiversity includes about 4,000 angiosperms, 1200 medicinal plants, 34 species of edible fungi, about 500 orchids, 55 species of bamboo, 695 birds, 160 fish species, 21 migratory aquatic birds and multitude of butterflies and insects. It is the responsibility of the people and the Government to protect it, she observed.

The Governor said that there is a vast area of wetland in Bishnupur district, where a large number of migratory water birds visits, mostly from China, Mongolia and Siberia during the period from October to February every year. However, the number of these migratory birds is declining every year due to certain reasons. One reason could be the high water level being maintained due to the construction of Ithai Barrage, which has led to lack of food for migratory birds, she added.

Smt. Heptulla said that she has been supporting the cause for dismantling the Barrage for free flow of water to maintain the original eco-system and save Loktak Lake. She said that she had been told that around 16 species of indigenous fish had become extinct due to blocking of water by the barrage.

Speaking on the rare Sangai, the Governor said that the brow-antlered deer was declared extinct in 1951 and then it was re-discovered at Keibul Lamjao in 1953. Due to continued efforts of the State Forest Department, the population of Sangai today had reached around 260 now, she added.

Speaking as the functional president, Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh said that he is happy that people in hill districts have also started realizing the need for wildlife and environment protection. Stating that uptil some time back, migratory bird Amur Falcon had stopped coming to Manipur’s Tamenglong district, the Chief Minister informed that a large number of Amur Falcons had started visiting the district again due to the dedicated efforts of some organisations and villagers.

Trees are very important in the survival of human beings, as such, there is need to plant more and more trees, he added. The Government can only formulate policies but proper and effective execution of these policies requires people’s support and co-operation, the Chief Minister observed.

Regarding the inconvenience currently faced by farmers due to scanty rainfall, the Chief Minister said that a high power State level committee had been constituted to look into the problem. He informed that the Minor Irrigation Department had started taking up steps to irrigate water to dry paddy fields in 51 identified places of different districts. For this purpose, Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) would provide required water pipes to the Minor Irrigation Department, he said while adding that water pump sets would be provided at the places inspected and identified by a team of officials.

Shri N. Biren said that Imphal East is badly hit by the dry spell while paddy fields of Kumbi village in Bishnupur district are also affected. Stating that parts of Thoubal district are also affected, the Chief Minister informed that water is now released in both the left and right canals of Thoubal Dam. Necessary procedures had also already begun to acquire more water pump sets under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) as well, he added.

The Chief Minister also urged the farmers to inform the Chief Minister’s Office or the Department concerned if they need help because of the current dry spell.

Stating that there had been significant rise in the coming of tourists to the State in the past one-two years, the Chief Minister urged the public to restrain from indulging in any activities like clamping of bandhs and blockades which may send wrong message about Manipur to other States and countries.

Forest and Environment Minister Shri Th. Shyamkumar, CAF and PD Minister Shri Karam Shyam, Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister Shri N. Kayisii, Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Environment) Dr. Suhel Akhtar and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Shri K. Angami also attended the function as the guests of honour.

Governor Smt. Najma Heptulla presented incentive awards of Rs. 5000 and a citation each to Animal Attendant of Manipur Zoological Garden, Shri Angam Komodan, Rainforest Club, Tamenglong and Shri Th. Shamungou Singh of Bishnupur District for their dedicated efforts in the conservation of wildlife.

She also presented Appreciation Certificates to 12 Assam Rifles, Khudengthabi, Animal and Husbandry Department, The Sangai Express, Imphal Fress Press, People’s for Animal and Sub-Inspector Y. Motilal of Bishnupur Police for their commendable roles in wildlife conservation.

Prizes for the State level photography, quiz and debate competitions held as part of the Wildlife Week celebration were also distributed by the dignitaries at the function. (DIPR)