IMPHAL: Manipur government provided newly procured arms to the forest guards to boost morale and confidence in dispensing their duties in protecting forest areas in the state.
A total of 100 arms had been procured out of which 49 had been distributed to forest personnel who had received basic arms training, Manipur forest minister Th Biswajit said in a function at Imphal.
The remaining arms will be distributed after more forest personnel complete training, he informed.
14,699.04 hectares of the state’s reserved forests were ravaged by fire between 2019 and January 2023 and 95 percent of the fires were man-made, the minister said.
The minister appealed to the forest personnel to use their arms responsibly exhorting the people to do away with misunderstandings and exert collective effort in forest conservation.
The forest divisions which received the arms on Tuesday include the Central Forest division, Parks and Sanctuary, Kangpokpi, Churachandpur, Thoubal, Bishnupur, and Chandel forest divisions.
The newly distributed arms are pump action rifles and double barrel rifles.
The new development comes after a reviewing meeting with Chief Minister N Biren Singh in the chair at his office recently.
The state government is serious about conserving the reserved and protected forest areas, and is determined to increase the greenery in the state, the CM said on his Twitter.
Several plans and measures are underway to conserve the rich biodiversity, flora, and fauna, and rejuvenate the wetlands and water bodies of Manipur, he added.