Imphal: Central Forest Division has evicted 29 houses illegally constructed at Mantripukhri Lamlongei village which falls under the Langol Reserve Forest Khabam Block Compartment No.6. The area falls under Chief Minister N Biren’s Heingang AC.
Five houses were already vandalised voluntarily by the owners before the eviction drive. No unwanted incident was reported during the eviction drive.
The eviction drive which began from early morning at about 7.30 AM was carried out by three teams of Forest and Police led by Central Forest Division DFO RK Amarjit who is also Conservator of Forest and Imphal East Police Adl. SP K. Bijoy.
When the team of Forest and Police reached the spot, some house owners dismantled their houses voluntarily. Forest staff evicted 24 houses while five others were found dismantled voluntarily by the house owners.
Notably, Central Forest Division had earlier served a show cause notice to the encroachers on March 31 seeking to show relavant documents justifying their settlement there by April 4. With no response, the Forest Department asked them to vacate the place by April 10.
Conservator of Forest Rk.Amarjit said that most of the residents in today’s area of eviction are claimants under Forest Rights Act (FRA). However, the evicted houses belong to those who are not eligible under Forest Rights Act (FRA). Two newly constructed houses not eligible under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) were also evicted, he conveyed.
He said that many illegal encroachers have been detected inside Langol Reserved Forest but they cannot be evicted due to pending court cases. Despite the fact, the Forest Department is trying to place proper records before the Court. Once the court approval is received, illegal encroachers will be evicted, he divulged.
Contending that several houses have popped up in reserved forest areas on the pretext of Forest Rights Act (FRA), he said that the Forest Rights Act (FRA) applies to only the genuine rightful persons.
Those ineligible persons should not claim under the Act. Even as he claims under the Act, the government will eventually evict because the authority has enough documentary evidence in years to come. Eviction drives involve huge manpower, time and energy. As such, people should avoid acting against the law, he said.