Settlement evicted from Protected Forest

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Feb 21: An eviction drive was conducted at K Songjang village in Churachandpur-Khoupum Protected Forest area by a team of Noney Forest Division and police yesterday.
The eviction was carried out as the present settlement of K Songjang village is situated inside the Churachandpur-Khoupum Protected Forest.
Notably, according to District Forest Officer Noney, the present settlement of K Songjang is new and inside the protected forest area against the law. The village did not exist in the said area before 2021.
As the settlement of the village inside the Reserved Forests & Protected Forests is in violation of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and Manipur Forest Rules 2021, a show cause notice was first issued to the encroachers on August 10, 2022 by DFO Noney.
As no reply was received, a reminder of the show cause notice was again issued on January 30 last.
After receiving a reply to the show cause notice on February 6, the DFO Noney then wrote to the chief of K Songjang village on February 10 stating that new village can’t be created inside the Protected Forest area, and the new structures were constructed in 2021 in clear violation of Section 30(c) of The Indian Forest Act, 1927 and Section 2(ii) of The Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
As per Google maps also, the present settlement of K Songjang village was not found till 2020.
Hence, a notice for vacating the Protected Forest area in seven days time was issued to the village on February 10.
As the village didn’t comply, the eviction drive was conducted on February 20 by the Noney Forest Division along with the police of Noney, Kangpokpi and Bishnupur district.
Reserved Forests and Protected Forests constitute a small percentage of the total geographical area of the State, said the Forest Department appealing to all citizens of the State to protect the sanctity of the Reserved Forest/Protected Forest and refrain from encroaching and establishing new settlements and structures in the said areas in violation of the Acts/Rules.
The eviction was overseen by senior officers of the Forest and the Police Department.