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Adverse Impact Of Phumdi Clearance Exercise At Keibul Lamjao, Govt Team Conducts On The Spot Survey

IMPHAL, Sep 28: To verify the report that clearance of Phumdis by LDA has had an adverse impact on Keibul Lamjao National Park, an official team of the Government has started a spot survey from today.

With funding from Planning Commission of India, Phumdis are being removed from Loktak Lake and disposed off via Manipur River through Ithai Barrage under a short term plan of the Loktak Development Authority (LDA).  LDA has roped in the service of K Pro-Infra Private Works, a New Delhi based company for the purpose. However, in the process of cutting the Phumdis, some portions of the National Park have been allegedly affected. Accordingly, authority of Keibul Lamjao National Park had taken up the matter with LDA.

When the LDA proposed replacing the Phumdis taken away from the Park, another problem has come up with villagers settling around the lake objecting to the proposal.

To resolve the matter as well as to verify the report of removing Phumdis from the park, an official team led by IFC Minister N Biren who is also the spokesperson of the Government conducted a spot survey today.

The official team which also include Chief Whip and MLA T Mangibabu, MA-NITRON Chairman MLA Dr Kh Ratankumar, officials of LDA, Forest and Wildlife Conservation visited places like Khordak, Nongmaikhong, Komlakhong, Laphupat Tera, Khordak Ichin, etc which are part of the National park. The official team also interacted with the villagers in an effort to arrive at a settlement.

However, as the Chief Minister is currently at Delhi and an immediate solution is not possible, the Minister assured the accompanying officials that the survey report would be submitted to the Chief Minister once he returns from Delhi and every possible effort would be made to bring about a settlement.

It may be noted here that a ruling of the Supreme Court passed on November 13, 2000 has made it clear that no land of the Forest, National Park and Sanctuary could be de-reserved and no tree and grass, even if they were dried, could be removed from National Park or sanctuary which have been notified under section 18 and 36 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 without the permission of the apex court.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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