IMPHAL, July 9 - Manipur Forest department, in collaboration with local bodies, planted around 1.3 lakh saplings covering an area of nearly 50 hectares in the State on Friday. The initiative was taken as part of the 68th Vanamahotsava, the festival of forests.
“The idea of planting more trees is to support the ecosystem. The Forest department alone cannot save the environment. It needs the wholehearted support of the public,” said Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar while taking part in the plantation programme at Yairipok Top Chingtha under his Andro constituency in Imphal East district.
The State faces flood-like situation at the slightest rainfall due to silting of river beds brought about by various reasons including deforestation, he added.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and head of Forest Force and PCCF K Angami, IGF, Project Elephant, Government of India RK Srivastava, Additional PCCF, L Baite, officials of Forest department, residents and volunteers attended the programme.
Later, Shyamkumar, along with Forest officials, also planted saplings at the historic Kheba Ching at Khongjom in Thoubal district.
There are also reports of observance of Vanomahotsava through plantation of 10,000 trees at places like Chandel, Churachandpur, Bishnupur, Jiribam, Kangpopkpi, Senapati, Tamenglong and Ukhrul in association with more than 150 local clubs, organisations, institutions and village people.
The Forest department also distributed around 2,000 saplings in and around Imphal. Students, housewives and others thronged the venue to collect the saplings.
The Forest department is planning to plant 9.95 lakh saplings this season across the State to increase the green cover and also help in mitigating climate change and flood.