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| Last Updated:02/08/2022

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Survey conducted to save Sana Khongnang

Source: Chronicle News Service

 

Imphal, January 19 2022: Following a report published by The People's Chronicle on January 10, highlighting that 13 Sana Khongnang (Sacred Fig/Peepal Tree) along the Canchipur-Lilong road were at risk of being felled due to the ongoing road expansion project, many environmentalists, students and civil society organisations had voiced for protecting the 13 trees and making alternative arrangements.

On Wednesday, members of Nature Club, Haoreibi staged a protest demonstration demanding the authorities concerned to save the trees at all cost.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Club submitted written requests to the principal chief conservator of forests and the chief engineer of Public Works Department (PWD).

In the letter, the Club appreciated the development work undertaken by the government but urged alternative ways instead of felling the 13 massive trees.

The trees, which are many years old, are priceless and important in protecting the environment, it said, while pleading the authorities not to fell the trees.

As a follow up to the protest undertaken by Nature Club, Haoreibi; Manipur University Students' Union (MUSU) and Youths For Protection of Human Rights, officials of Forest Department and PWD along with members of Nature Club carried out a re-survey of the area along the National Highway, where the 13 Sana Khongnang are growing.

For this, Central Forest Division also formed a Joint Re-survey Committees consisting assistant conservator of forest, Central Forest Division chairman, Sadar East Range, Sadar West Range, Sawombung Range, Nongmaiching Range and Central Forest Division Range officers as its members.

In connection with the re-survey which commenced from Wednesday, Sadar East Range officer Ng Ratan informed that a report on the number of trees growing along Canchipur-Lilong and the volume of trees affected by the highway expansion work had been submitted some time ago.

However, the forest department has not.

given any clearance for felling the existing trees.

The department exists to protect the trees, he said, while adding that the final decision on whether to fell the trees or not will be taken after the re-survey is completed.

Meanwhile, PWD NH-2 SO Somojit Yumnam said that the expansion work along the stretch of road from Manipur University gate to Lilong Bridge, which is part of the national highway, is bound to affect some of the trees growing along the roadside.

However, alternative ways are being discussed to newly realign the road without touching the trees.

As of now, there is no concrete decision on cutting down the trees, he stated and informed that the higher authorities are being consulted on how to go ahead with the work without felling the trees.

Somojit further said that ideas are being discussed on whether to align the trees as part of the road median but nothing has been decided as the re-survey is still going on.

Even if the trees do need to be cut down, tree saplings will be planted at suitable locations, as per the existing guideline, he conveyed.

During the protest on Wednesday, members of Nature Club along with young students formed a circle around each individual tree.

They also held placards inscribed with slogans like "Trees are our hearts", "Don't cut down trees, make another way", "Development without conservation of environment not wanted", and "Development work undertaken at the cost of degradation of environment is meaningless" .