Imphal: At least 5 tipper trucks, 2 JCBs and 7 people have been taken into custody by a team of Sagolmang Police Station and Forest Staff led OC/Sagolmang Police Station, Range Officer, Nongmaiching and Range Officer Sawombung for mass illegal quarrying at Compartment No. 1 and 3 of Sambei Purum Reserved Forest area while conducting regular patrolling by forest staff on Saturday morning.
A Senior Officer of Central Forest Division told media-persons that a fresh case is still registered for illegal quarrying at the very area and notice was served not to quarry at the area by the officials of the Forest Department.
Quarrying of hill soils from Reserved Forest Area is illegal and not permitted as per law and punishable under Section 26 of Indian Forest Act, 1927.
And above this, as per order noticed by Manipur High Court under PIL No. 25 of 2017, it has been noticed that any hill soils from the hills of Manipur cannot be quarried without the permission of Concern Authority, the Officer said.
The Senior Officer further said that the Forest Department has been aware and informed using loudspeaker and even through social media not to quarry hill soils, but some individuals have been quarrying hill soils illegally for their own benefits.
Such acts of their will one day led to the extinction of many hills that have been a part of ancestral history and have been taking big responsibility in preserving nature, mostly of valley and of the surrounding areas, the officer said.
Stating there is need of help and cooperation from the Police Department at this hour, the Senior Officer thanked SP/Imphal East Jogeschandra Haobijam and OC/Sagolmang Police Station for their contribution.
A case has been registered at Pangei Forest Beat Office against the seized vehicles and arrested persons and legal actions have been taken up.