Pothashang News Service

Imphal, November 7: Original polo animal Manipur ponies are often seen along the streets and garbage sites as their happy homes and people had been complaining for a rigid plan to save the pony from extinction.

In the midst Chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh today said grazing fields will be identified soon. He reaffirmed state government’s determination and efforts to preserve and protect the endangered ‘Manipuri Pony’ breed, in the first meeting of the Manipuri Pony Development Board held at chief minister’s secretariat.

The meeting discussed the issues regarding the rehabilitation, long term sustainability to preserve and conserve the Manipuri Pony. Biren Singh said, there is a need to develop more habitation area in various areas so that we could breed and increase the population of the Pony in the State. A breeding farm would be developed and maintained by the State Government so that the rare and precious gene of Manipuri Pony breed is not diluted at any cost.

Stating that Polo game plays an important role in protecting the state’s rare breed of ponies from extinction, Biren Singh opined that we should develop Polo fields and grounds in rural areas of too.

*Discussing about the stray ponies in the street, the meeting unanimously decided that every Pony owner in the state needs to register their ponies to the government. Owners would be given incentives for maintenance and care.

If the owners fail to register their ponies on time then necessary action will be taken up and the Ponies will be auction in public. The meeting also discussed about the procurement of dry fodder like straw etc. in the post harvest period and to maintain fodder storage for the Ponies.

‘Manipuri Pony’ is among the seven recognised breeds of horses found in India. The pony lovers in the state have been demanding the government to announce pony as endangered specifies.

Every year as a part the Manipur Sangai Festival, Manipur hosts international polo tournament.

Minister for agriculture and veterinary and animal husbandry V. Hangkhanlian, parliamentary secretary (Agriculture) Awangbow Newmai, principal secretary Vineet Joshi, IGP Dr. S. Ibocha, principal chief conservator of forests K. Angami, Commissioner (Revenue) Th. Chittaranjan Singh, director (Veterinary), members of Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association and officials of various departments attended the function.

People witness pony lying dead along streets and public places. One pony was found death near Shanker Talkis, Lamphel on September 3.

Grazing grounds and pony farms were projected at Lamphel in Imphal West, Heingang in Imphal East and at Tingkhai Khunou. However, the everyday episode of the ponies grazing at garbage sites, sleeping on the streets and run over them by vehicles and dead scenes shows the failure of projects on ponies.

According to Department of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Services, Manipur report made fund provisions of Rs 16 lakh in the budgets 2010-14 under the detailed head – salaries, office expenses, domestic travel expenses and other charges, for two fodder farms that became non-operational since 2005.

The government had sanctioned Rs. 2 crore some years ago for a pony farm at Tingkhai Khunnou in Senapati district. The farm was however dimmed.

There were 1,893 pony population in 2003 which was decreased to 1,218 in 2007. The statics had drastically reduced to less than 500 in 2014.

The Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association, Manipur Polo Society and other polo clubs have been demanding to announce Manipuri Pony as endangered species. If a certain kind of species has population lower than 2000, it could be termed as an endangered species.

The Okram Ibobi government in November last year approved The Manipur Pony Conservation and Development policy and issued a gazette. However, no funds were sanctioned.

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