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Forest minister Th. Shyamkumar rewards Khamasom village for protecting virgin forest

  

Forest minister Th. Shyamkumar rewards Khamasom village for protecting virgin forest

Forest minister Th. Shyamkumar rewards Khamasom village for protecting virgin forest

SOURCE : Imphal Free Press.

UKHRUL | Oct 27

Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar rewarded the villagers of Khamasom village for protecting the only virgin forest in the State situated along the Indo-Myanmar international border. The Minister handed over a sum of Rs 2 lakhs from the department’s side to the Khamasom villagers for their sincerity and commitment in protecting the environment. On his maiden visit on Friday, the Forest minister inspected the Khamasom village and its surrounding areas, which is situated near the international border pillar number 24. The Minister expressed his astonishment and happiness towards the villagers for carefully safeguarding the only remaining virgin forest in the State along the international border. The village is located at a distance of around 40 kms from Ukhrul district headquarters. The village has been visited by a minister after a gap of 40 years. Late Yangmasho Shaiza, the then chief minister of Manipur visited the village in 1978. Addressing media persons, Shyamkumar said Forest department is happy that the villagers of Khamasom have carefully safeguarded the only remaining parts of the virgin forest in the State at a time when the department is working hard to combat deforestation and global warming, which is currently one of the major issues in the world. The present government is committed to keeping close contact with the people residing in the interior areas so that new policies and developmental programs can be implemented successfully. Shyamkumar further assured to the Khamasom villagers that deserving villagers will be given benefits under various schemes/programs of the state government departments. Concerned over the remoteness of the village, the minister gave his direct contact number to the villagers to update him regarding the problems and other queries so that they (villagers) do not have to travel the long distance to reach Imphal. He also assured the villagers that he will apprise the chief minister and works minister regarding the bad road condition. Rio, Headmaster of Yang Academy, Khamasom termed the maiden visit of the Forest and Environment minister as a ‘historic’ day for the village and the surrounding areas. He informed that the Khamasom is located in the Ukhrul Central Sub-Division and it has over 400 households consisting of Khamasom Khayangkho, Khamasom Walely, Khamasom Phungdhar and Khamasom Phungrei. He said that the village is home to the people of Tangkhul tribe with agriculture as the primary occupation. The village which is known for its scenic beauty has a vast thick virgin forest stretching up to the international boundary with Myanmar which is rich in flora and fauna, he added. Requesting the state government to look into the issues of the villagers, he informed that the road of the village was washed away by the fury of cyclone Mora. Informing that the village also faces electricity problem, he said two teachers are managing the only government high school in the village. Volunteers for Green Khamasom (VGK) formed in 2015 are helping the villagers in providing drinking water supply in the village, he added.