Manipur forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar said that the forest department has earmarked Rs 25 crore for sapling plantation in various areas of the state in the current financial year.

Speaking to media persons in Imphal on April 12, Shyamkumar said that the forest department has collected royalty from different central projects undertaken in the state and deposited Rs 250 crore in the state account under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

The department has various developmental programmes which will be undertaken for which public support is needed, he added.

Stating that Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) is handling the plantation, harvesting and cutting of trees, he appealed to the people to cut trees only after getting JFMC clearance.

Mentioning that the forest department has not ban the use of forest products, including for commercial purpose by the locals, he said that the trees should be cut legally following the rules and guidelines of the Indian Forest Act and Manipur Forest Act so that the environment is not disturbed. He also said that the timbers he seized were transported illegally violating the rules and guidelines.

The minister mentioned that the department has been appealing to the people not to transport timbers illegally and specify the location where the trees have been cut, so that the department can do the re-plantation. Most of the timbers which are transported illegally from across the Indo-Myanmar border needs permission from the Indian government for auctioning as it is foreign product, he added.

Shyamkumar also urged the Tangkhul Frontal Organisation (TFO) to revoke the ban so that he can continue to undertake the developmental work in the hill districts in cooperation with the locals.

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