Govt plans to replenish forest in valley area

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 24th Dec: Forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Monday said that the department will plant tall saplings (4 to 5 feet) in the historical hillocks of Imphal, Thoubal and Bishnupur districts as well as hills adjoining the valley areas to increase the forest cover.
Addressing a press conference in his new secretariat office here on Monday, the minister informed that the initiative will be taken up in hill ranges around valley pockets like Ngariyan, Langol, Heingang, Marjing, Khongjom and Moirang Purel with funding from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and Germany-based banking group KFW.
He informed that Loktak Development Authority (LDA) has started removing illegal constructions in Loktak Lake and is continuing the drive.
Regarding cleanliness of Imphal city, he said that although the officials of Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) are diligently doing their duties, it is also the responsibility of the citizens to cooperate with them so that the city can compete with other cities on cleanliness.
Support, positive criticism and suggestions from the people are important for effective implementation of any scheme or programme, he contended.
Informing that all possible help and assistance are provided to organic farmers registered under MOMA, he said that the horticulture and soil conservation department achieved many milestones as it was able to sell organic products to national and foreign buyers this year.
After some years, the state will be able to start selling Agar extracts, once the Agar plants are matured, he added.
He also urged farmers, who used to plant poppy or cannabis plants to opt for high yielding medicinal plants, while informing that the government is always ready to help them in such initiatives.


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