Manipur Forest department is planning to send a proposal to the Centre for establishing a Forest Protection Force (FPF) to combat illegal smuggling of forest and wildlife products in the volatile border State of the North-east.
Disclosing this to media in Imphal on Friday, Manipur Forest and Environment Minister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar said that the matter will be discussed in consultation with the state Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
Minister Shyamkumar also hoped that the establishment of FPF in the State will enable the department to curb the unauthorized and illegal transportation of timber and other forest products.
Urging the general public to help in combating such unwanted acts, he said the Department is taking help from security forces including Army and paramilitary in the State to help the Forest department to stop illegal smuggling of forest and wildlife products considering the shortage of frontline staffs in the Department.
He also lauded the 26 Assam Rifles stationed at Thoubal for seizing 16 trucks loaded with timbers on January 24 last. He said the Department had written a letter to all the security forces including Army and paramilitary in the State to help the department on May 18, 2017.
Security forces were requested to detain trucks carrying timbers without transit pass or watermarks which are machine numbered by the department and hand them to the nearest Forest office, he said.
Minister felt that most of the forest products are smuggled during the night time without the permission of Forest Department/Joint Forest Management Committee taking advantage of the hilly terrain with porous border in the interior areas of the State.
Informing that the committed Forest department officials are working hard to save the forest and wildlife products in the larger context of saving environment of the State, he said he along with the Forest officials have recently conducted inspection tour in the interior of Henglep sub-division in Churachandpur district and Indian side of the Indo-Myanmar border in Tengnoupal district.