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| Last Updated:10/12/2018

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Biren moots land use law for hills

 Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 11 2018: Chief Minister N Biren has stated that there is a need to enact a separate land use law for the hill districts of the State in order to conserve environment and ecosystems. He was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day workshop being organised by the Manipur Forum for Sustainable Mountain Development and State Climate Change Cell, Directorate of Environment at Classic Grande here today. He stated that there is a growing need to enforce a separate land use in the hills. Taking serious note of the disastrous impacts of jhum and shifting cultivation on environment, the Chief Minister asserted that it's time to explore alternative modes of agricultural practices. The physical environment which was there when the population was small has changed. Now the population has increased manifold and people need to change their outlook, he said. Speaking at the inaugural session of the workshop on 'Understanding mountain people's approach and practices for climate change', the Chief Minister noted that climate change has brought about many changes. At one point of time, thick layers of cloud always covered the peaks of Shirui mountain but these days not a single reliable source for a water supply project can be found. This is a serious problem which money alone cannot tackle, Biren. An amount of Rs 45 crore has been sanctioned for taking up a water supply project at Tamenglong but raw water would be drawn from a far off place which means additional investment, Biren said. He also mentioned about devastating floods which occurred five times in the State last year. The Chief Minister expressed serious concern that most hill ranges of Manipur look bare with little trees. He said that the Government has taken up an initiative of lemon grass and agarwood plantation in place of poppy cultivation. Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar is currently visiting Moreh and Tengnoupal to make a ground assessment for agarwood plantation, Biren said. The inaugural session presided by Integrated Mountain Initiative president Sushila Ramola was also attended by Environment Director Dr Y Nabachandra and Sustainable Development Forum Nagaland Executive Director Amba Jamir as special guests. The workshop is sponsored by the National Mission on Himalayan Studies and Directorate of Environment.