Ukhrul, August 18 2017: The Village Authority of Shirui village has empowered the Shirui Kashing Area Forest Land Owners Conservancy (SKAFLOC) to conserve Kashong hills from July this year to check the rapid environmental degradation of the area.
Altogether 48 land owners of Shirui village have dedicated their forest land at the surrounding areas of Shirui Kashong.
Kashong hilltop is the “abode of State flower Shirui Lily”.The SKAFLOC was formed as a part of the movement to conserve the forest areas of Shirui Kashong.
Signboards have been put up in and around the areas with the slogan “Conserve Forest” as well as to prevent encroaching on the forest land.
SKAFLOC members had earlier pledged their commitment to protect and restore the depleted Kashong forest.
The members unanimously agreed to end the practice of felling trees, forest burning, wildlife hunting and the exploitation of minerals and medicinal herbs in the forest.
SKAFLOC has also erected signboards embossed with the same decision to conserve the forest .
The convener SKAFLOC Mayopam Shangh mentioned that the villagers have dedicated their forest land in between NH-150 on the northern side of the hill and the eastern side of the PMGSY road running through Kashong toward Mapum village.
Forest land to be conserved are from the extreme northern border to Phangrei while eastern area is from Ngayei Sira border to Mapum village and the southern side stretches from Razik Kong, Ngalei Marou and Khorum bordering Khangkhui, Choithar and Langdang covering an approximate area of 109 square kilometres, which is the same size proposed by the Forest Department of Manipur for a National park in 1982 .
He went to mention that they are still mobilizing the villagers to join SKAFLOC for expanding the area of forest conservation.
As many as 10 streams originate from Shirui Kashong, out of which 3 major streams, Kokti Kong, Shinguira and Namra Kong serve as the main water sources for Ukhrul town.
The headman of Shirui Chingkha, AW Khavangpam while mentioning the destruction caused by the construction of Shirui-Mapum road under PMGSY in 2011, which runs through the heart of the forest, said that repeated landslides and clearance works taken up along the road has not only threatened the habitat of the Shirui Lily but has caused many wild animals and birds to flee from the forest .
The destruction has even deformed the landscape due to continuous mudslide, he added.
The SKAFLOC has also opined a restriction on the movement of heavy vehicles in the forest area .
SKAFLOC will first approach the State Government and highlight the details of destruction to the forest and will appeal for construction of an alternative route, which can be more viable for those villages located beyond Shirui.
Source: The Sangai Express