Imphal: Severe flooding in Manipur is a fallout of the widespread deforestation, encroachment on the river banks and mass poppy plantation, said Water Resources and Relief and Disaster Management minister Awangbow Newmai on Thursday.

“The first priority of Manipur government is to relocate the flood victims to safer places in flood hit area,” said the minister.

Awangbow was talking to reporters at his secretariat here.

He said, “Imphal river has crossed the danger level and above 2000 persons were evacuated, and the rest have been moved to safer locations and relief camps before the flood water level increased and so far no death has been reported in Imphal area.”

The minister said he had asked for active participation of manpower from volunteers, local clubs, MLA’s,  inisters, local representatives, state forces, paramilitary forces NDRF and SDRF to prevent overflow and breach of Imphal river at various locations.

He said, “Forty NDRF from Arunachal Pradesh have reached Imphal and more NDRF team and boat are also yet to reached Imphal.”

He also said, “Each year 420 annually are deforested and if this goes on for 10 to 15 years there will be imbalance of the nature.”

The main impact of the flood in Imphal is either due to overflow or seepage or breach of river bank, the minister said.

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