TACO opposes declaration of Mt Koubru area as protected site
The Tujang Area Chiefs’ Organisation stated that to implement any kind of development projects or preservation activities, the consent of the local stakeholders is needed.
The Tujang Area Chiefs’ Organisation (TACO) apprised the commissioner (Arts & Culture), about its strong objection against the proposed declaration of Mt Koubru area as a protected site by the government.
The chiefs’ organisation registered its objection against the government’s notification No.5/11/2008-S (AC) Secretariat Art and Culture department proposing to declared Mt Koubru area as protected site and drew the attention of the government by submitting a representation to the commissioner (Arts & Culture), government of Manipur on January 25.
The representation signed by the chairman Seikhosat Kipgen and its secretary Hemjang Kipgen stated that Koubru hill has been a perennial source of livelihoods and food security for the people of Tujang Lhang where more than 36 Kuki villages inhabited the foothills of Mt Koubru.
The details of Tujang Lhang boundaries as stated in the representation is that the Imphal river lies in the East, ridge of Mt Koubru range in the West, Bongmol Nullah in the North and Joujangdung in the South. It recalled that Pearson, the then PMSD in his Sadar Hills Misc. Case No. 756 of 1946-47, had settled Ngullen, chief of Tujang in the land between 111½ and 112½ mile stone on the DM Road.
The site has historical as well as primal religious traditions and cultural significance for the Kuki community since time immemorial as for instance, the Mt Koubru has been revered by the ancestors for ages by maintaining a symbolic relationship and many such stories are narrated in the folklores, it stated.
It continued that the local communities not only regarded Mt Koubru as ‘Mother Nature’ but they have also sustainably used the resources to conserve and protect the ecosystem for generation as it is an integral part of their cultural heritage, ancestral land and identity.
It stated that to implement any kind of development projects or preservation activities, be it by the Central government or state government, NGOs or any civil organisations, the consent of the local stakeholders is needed.
The Tujang Area Chiefs’ Organisation further stated that based on the above facts, an exclusive claim of the site by any particular communities or religious group would disturb the status-quo and any attempt to infringe on their right of ownership and access to resources shall be opposed to any extent.