Manipur cracks down on illegal poppy cultivation
The illegal poppy cultivation on 590 acres in Manipur’s Kangpokpi Forest division was cleared during 19 such instances in 2022-23 and FIR were filed in 14 instances by officers of the division under Section 26 of Indian Forest Act and ND & PS Act, according to Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) N Ganesh of Kangpokpi Forest Division on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference in Imphal, DFO Ganesh said, “Operations to clear poppy of remaining areas is still going on. The division was ably supported by Foresters of Central and Senapati Division. Drone survey is also being conducted to identify areas under cultivation of any form on Reserved Forest (RF) land and Forest Offence cases will also be filed against people indulging in any form of cultivation in RF.”
The range forest officers were ordered to investigate the matters of poppy cultivation inside RF areas in August 2022. It issued summons to around 23 villages and investigated the matter with respect to poppy cultivation within the Kanglatongbi Kangpokpi RF (KKRF)/ Koubru Hill Range and other RF areas.
Complaints have been registered against 24 such cultivators of poppy inside RF in the last two days besides FIRs in 14 instances filed earlier. More FIRs will be filed based on further investigation, he said.
The DFO has coordinated with police to effect the arrest of these offenders immediately under Indian Forest Act 1927 and NDPS acts.
‘Apart from poppy destruction, on other fronts of Forest management, this office will be dispatching a team of Forest officials to camp permanently at Koubru peak for the entire fire season to prevent any forest fire in the KKRF. The team will be patrolling the entire KKRF area, operating from Koubru peak and will also be involved in making large fire lines in KKRF which will act as a break to any forest fire,’ the DFO said.
‘Also keeping the fire season in mind and as a preventive measure to avoid any forest fire, restrictions were imposed on camping, trekking, expedition, etc., without the permission of competent authority inside KKRF.
‘In the last one year over 1 lakh seedlings have been planted by the Division at Koubru hill range alone. In the upcoming plantation season, the Division has plans to plant more than 1.5 lakh seedlings at Koubru ranges,’ he added.