Manipur today observed the 68th ‘Vanamahotsava’ at various locations in all the districts organised by the Forest Department. On the occasion, the Forest Department planted around 1.3 lakh tree saplings at 10 districts crossing the set target of 1 lakh tree saplings across the State. It has a target to plant around 10 lakh tree saplings in the month of July.

During the first week every July, ‘Vanamahotsava’ – the festival of forests is observed across the country. Since the initiation of the festival in 1950, by the then Union Minister for Food & Agriculture (late) Shri Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, the festival is continuing every year throughout India.

The Forest Department organised ‘Vanamahotsava’ observation at Yairipok Top Chingtha under Andro Assembly Constituency. Speaking to mediapersons, Forests and Environment Minister Shri Thounaojam Shyamkumar said that, the Forest Department alone cannot save the environment and needs the wholehearted public support. Expressing concern over the change in temperature and unnatural calamities across the globe, he said that, ‘Vanamahotsava’ conveys the message that there is a need to plant more trees to support the eco-system.

Minister Shyamkumar said that, the State faces flood like situation at the slightest rainfall due to silting of river beds caused due to various reasons including deforestation. He said the State Government plans to dredge the riverbeds in valley area to solve the problem. He also showed concern over the rampant use of chemical fertilisers in the State.

Minister Th. Shyamkumar further said that, planting tree saplings alone is not enough, as we need to protect the trees/plants for the future generations. Urging the people to plant more trees to save the planet earth, Shyamkumar said protecting the trees/plants lies in the hands of each citizen. He said to make the initiative successful, public support is a necessity.

Forests and Environment Minister Th. Shyamkumar along with other officials and volunteers planted varieties of tree saplings of as a part of the observance. Around 7,300 saplings were planted at the Top Chingtha.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Force (PCCF & HoFF) Shri K. Angami; Shri RK Srivastava, IGF, Project Elephant, Govt of India; L. Baite, Additional PCCF; officials of Forest Department, locals of Yairipok Top Chingtha and volunteers attended the observance.

Minister Shyamkumar along with the Forest Department officials also planted saplings at the Kheba Ching, at Khongjom, Thoubal District. The Forest Department planted around 1,000 saplings at the Kheba Ching. Different varieties of tree saplings were planted at 6(six) locations in Thoubal District today.

The Forest Department also organised ‘Vanamahotsava’ at Tekcham, Kakching District under the theme “one lakh tree plantation programme”. As part of the observance, Minister Shyamkumar planted saplings and inaugurated office of the Ningshing Lup Tekcham cum reading room. The observance was also widely held at the surroundings of Nongmaijing Ching Reserve Forest area at Mahadev Ching and Khalong. Around 3,600 tree saplings were planted at the two locations.

Khalong, Baruni Hill, Imphal East and other districts. Later, Minister Shyamkumar distributed free saplings to the women vendors at Samumakhong, Khwairamband Keithel. (DIPR)

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