ZSF, ZCA condemn Forest department for 'halting' NH-102B constructions

The student federation threatens to shut down the forest department office.

The Zomi Students’ Federation (ZSF) has condemned the Environment and Forest department of the state for serving notice to the construction agency, which is engaged in widening of Guite Road (NH-102B), to stop their activities until forest clearance is given.

A release issued on Thursday by ZSF general secretary Justin Simte said that the student federation has condemned the sudden halting of all construction activities in NH-102B since October 27 after the notice was served.

The ongoing work for widening the Guite Road is a national project undertaken by NHDCL. The road is a strategic road in terms of defence and is the third lifeline of a land-locked state of Manipur. The government is also in the process of paying compensation to the tribal land owners who are settled along the road, the release stated.

ZSF has questioned where was the Forest department before the commencement of work? The construction agency is given limited time to complete the work, why cannot the department resolve the issue without stopping the works?

If no solution is brought within 24 hours of issuing the release i.e. 1 pm of October 29, the student federation will be compelled to shut down the forest department office and call indefinite bandh of their activity in the area, warned ZSF in the release.

Meanwhile, in a separate release, the Zomi Chief Association (ZCA) said that they are surprised to learn that the staff of Forest department, Churachandpur have warned the contractor of Guite Road and forced them to stop all construction activities for double lining of the highway since October 27.

The forest department had more than enough time to issue an order in connection with the construction in the last three years but instead the order was issued while the construction was going on, it added.

In regards the DFO of Churachandpur was inquired by IFP, and he said that the allegation against the department is baseless. The DFO said that they are acting as per rules of the forest department and the department will never act against any developmental work. He also stated that any forest land utilised for non forest purpose required a clearance from the forest department and that they only adhered to the forest rules and regulations.

 

First Published:Oct. 30, 2020, 7:53 a.m.

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