The Manipur government has constituted a panel to look into reports about the decline of the Sangai population at the Keibul Lamjao National Park due to habitat degradation caused by human encroachment, said chief minister N Biren Singh.

Singh while speaking at an event in Imphal said the State Government has come up with a plan to reward villages which have shown firm commitment towards conservation of wildlife and the environment.

He added that villages in the Tamenglong district which made efforts to protect Amur falcons would also be rewarded.

Singh, who was accompanied by Textiles and Commerce and Industry Minister Th Biswajit and Agriculture Minister O Lukhoi, distributed financial assistance of Rs 10,000 to handicraft artisans for buying tool kits under the Sub-Mission of Agriculture Mechanisation Scheme.

Dwelling on the importance of tool kits in developing any product, the Chief Minister announced that the financial assistance given to handicraft artisans would be increased to Rs 20,000 from next year.

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