During a discussion to pass demand for grant for the state environment and forest department in the house of the Manipur Assembly on Wednesday, opposition members alleged that the controversial AFSPA, 1958 was instrumental in the deforestation of the region.
Moving a cut motion to the demand for grant of Rs 173,10,19,000 of the department in the ongoing monsoon session of the state Assembly, opposition member Dr I Ibohalbi blamed the controversial act (AFSPA) for empowering the security personnel in the state to cut down trees in the region.
“Security forces deployed in the state have been cutting down trees of the forest for security purpose”, he said, adding that the act of the security forces was amidst global concerned about the rising temperature and climatic change.
He said the security force which has been deployed in the forest area of the state has been cutting down trees as counter attacks from rebel groups, alleging that many trees which have been planted at Sanatapham area near Maibam Lokpa Ching in Bishnupur area has been cut down by the security forces deployed there.
Pointing out that AFSPA has been helping the security forces in clearing forest region Ibohalbi urged the house to take up appropriate measures to control mass cutting down of trees for security reasons.
He observed that the total reserved forest area of the state has been reduced to 730 square kilometer.
Rampant deforestation has been taking place across the state and this has made every one worried and it was time the government make some concrete policy to control the deforestation.