Maniwood children park closed

Pothashang News Service

Imphal, January 6, 2018: The forest department has closed down Maniwood Children Park located at Cheirao Ching, Imphal West which falls under Langol reserved forest area, following an order was passed by Justice SP Wangdi of The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in November 2017.

The petition was filed by ‘Indigenous Perspectives’, an NGO.

The state forest department closed down the Maniwood Children Club as an activity of the Joint Forest Management (JFM) of the reserved forest area.

The children park is a joint effort of the forest department and Sinam Leikai residents under Forest Development Committee and Joint Forest Management Committee initiative.

The NGT says the land was used without obtaining clearance under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.

At present there are 38 reserved forest areas in the state except Ukhrul district. The Langol reserved forest and its extension stretches upto 22.25 square kilometers.

At present, there are about 1,144 buildings including religious structures encroaching on the reserved forest area such as Lamdeng, Irosemba, Tarung, Tharon etc. The area of land encroached as per forest department assessment in May 2017 is 93.5 hectares.

32 families have already been evicted from the forest area last year.

It has been reported that certain business establishments and settlements have steadily been increasing in the past few years but many houses have dag-chitha, a document authorizing the land for habitation by the revenue department.

The Langol reserved forest is a main catchment area for Lamphelpat and provides ecological balance for  Imphal. The Langol reserved forest is the only immediate watershed for the main Imphal area.

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