By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Nov 6 : An Information & Interpretation Centre, along with five Amur Falcon watch towers, were inaugurated at Phalong (Bhalok) part III today, as a part of the 5th Amur Falcon Festival celebration under the theme ‘Honour the Treasured Wings’.
The festival was organised yesterday by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and HoFF Manipur at Unity stadium, Tamenglong, in which experts from Hungary, Germany and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun attended.
Meanwhile, Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar, who graced the inaugural ceremony as chief guest dedicated the watch towers to the villagers.
Tamenglong ADC Chairman Namsinrei Panmei, IFS, PCCF & HoFF K Angami, PCCF (Wildlife) D J N Anand, APCCF S Dhananjoy, DFO Tamenglong Arun RS, forest officials attended the function along with the villagers.
The watch towers were set up at different locations including Bhalok (Phalong) part III, Sonram, Ajuram and Bamgaijang.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Shyamkumar conveyed that people will feel elated when they watch or observe Amur Falcons which migrates to Bhalok village in the month of October and stays there till mid November.
He expressed that it is a proud moment for the people of Bhalok village and appreciated them for their cooperation in protecting the migratory bird.
He appealed to the public to show love and warmth towards the birds as they migrate for a short period of time and urged the people to refrain from trapping the birds.
It is worth mentioning that yesterday, State Forest Department, along with experts from Hungary, Germany and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, successfully satellite-tagged two Amur Falcons and named them Manipur and Tamenglong.
The satellite tagging system is the first of its kind in the State and the third in the North East region, carried out by the same team. It was first initiated in Nagaland in 2013.
The Minister informed that the information and interpretation centre was also established to provide information and knowledge about the birds.
He further appealed the public to continue showing love and care for the bird and to take proper care of the watch towers and the centre as well. The Minister assured the villagers that the memorandum submitted by the villagers will be deliberated with the officers of the Forest Department at the earliest.
Regarding the poor road conditions of the area, he assured the villagers that he will consult the matter with the Chief Minister and announced that he will construct public conveniences for the villagers.
Stating that previous incidents where migratory birds were trapped are quite unfortunate, he stated that birds contribute greatly in balancing the environment while adding that affection and care shown towards the bird can be a lesson for others outside the State.
Bhalok village (which is divided into part I, II and II), with a total population of 1500, is located 10 kms away from Tamenglong town while a total of 800 individuals are residing at Bhalok part III.
Every year a large number of Amur Falcon (known as Akhuaipuina locally), migrates to the village.
During the festival held yesterday, PCCF HoFF K Angami announced that the Forest Department will urge the State Government to declare Tamenglong as Amur Falcon district.