Ecological task force should be raised in Manipur

Thangjam Ranjit
Contd from last Saturday
2) 135 Ecological Task Force ETF, Green Rhinos
Some commendable services which have been rendering by ETF (Green Rhinos) are:
(a) The plantation drive of “My Earth My Duty” was organized by the Green Rhinos in schools and colleges in order to spread awareness of ecology and environment.
(b) 135 ETF joint venture with Forest Department to campaign the wildlife week.
(c) The ETF stopped deforestation and poaching. They have planted more than 60 lakhs in 10years.
(d) It is worth mentioning rather pride and honour of 135 ETF that a team of 100 Green Rhinos made “Guinness World Records” by planting 40,885 saplings in one hour in the year 2012.
For both the Eastern Planters and Green Rhinos it is the successful story of the excellent works they accomplished under the initiative and patronage of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India.
6. Present status of ETF in the country
Presently 9 (nine)Infantry Battalions (TA) comprising of 22 operational companies are carrying out afforestation in difficult and degraded areas in the states of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Delhi, Assam and Maharastra. In India ETFs have been set up as Territorial Army Units.
The first ETF called 127 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) was approved in September, 1982 and become operational in January, 1983 in Uttar Pradesh. The 2nd one called the 128 ETF Bn. was raised in 1983 for Rajasthan, 129 ETF Bn. was raised in 1988 in Jammu and Kashmir, 134 and 135 ETF Bn. since May, 2008 in Assam and so on.
7. Achievement of ETF in the countryTill date Ecological Task Force Battalions (TA) have planted approximately 6.88 crore saplings and covered an area of 72,741 hectares of land with 75 – 80% survival rate.
ETF Battalions have been given due recognition for their exemplary contribution in the field of ecology and have been bestowed with various national and state level awards.
In 1983,128 Infantry Bn in Rajasthan with its 668 –men created an oasis and 63 lakhs plants have been grown along a 50 km stretch area about 80 km off Bikaner. Again, the same battalion has created a green belt along Indira Gandhi Canal covering an area of about 35,000 hectares of land.
Similarly in Shahjahnpur block near Dehradun, 127 ETF (TA) Bn with its243 –strong force planted trees in 2000 hectares.
The success of the ETF in India is the holding of International Conference on Global Warming and Ethnic Clashes on February 28th, 2008 at Ahmedabad in which many delegates from various countries of Asia, Europe, America and Arab countries attended the conference. A number of retired justices of Supreme Court of India and members of National and State Human Rights Commission, ST, SC and Minority Commissions were also delegates of the big international conference.
 Shri R.S. Rajkumar, Hon’ble Member of Manipur Human Rights Commissions was also one of the resource persons in the conference. He received rich accolade from the audience of the Conference when he spoke on the success stories and excellent works of ETFs in Leh,Ladakh and Thar Desert, Rajasthan i.e rainfalls after plantation of a large number of trees by ETF(TA).After the conference he was invited to talk ,as an ambassador of green revolution, in different parts of the country, at Udaipur on 1st and 2ndMarch,2008 ; Calcutta, on 3rdMarch, Guwahati ,on 5th March and so on.
The need of Ecological Task Force for Manipur State
Manipur is a good example where ecological imbalance is taking place with clear cut climatic and environmental changes in the last few decades.
(To be contd)