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The wrath of Mother Nature: Mercury is rising

A disturbing news appeared in one of the leading Imphal based newspaper is the temperature reaching 40 degree Celsius in Chandel district of Manipur. June / July the summer season is yet to arrive and if the mercury level reached 40 degree Celsius in May, it is likely that people may not be able to go outdoor in June and July.
20 years back, May season’s favourite outfit for the people in the state of Manipur was either a jacket or Jersey. Today, we can’t even wear a full man’s casual shirt or a long pant. Reason – the mercury is rising, by next year the temperature is likely to reach 40 degree Celsius.
In during late 90’s, when people, particularly the environmentalists showed serious concern to the rise in the mercury, the temperature recorded in Manipur On April 14, 1999, was 36 degree Celsius. That was the hottest day people.
April normally was most of the pleasant days during 80s. The climatic condition was excellent. The temperature those days was much lower than 30 degree Celsius. Months with Maximum temperature was during June and July. Everyone who are in the 40s know that the mercury level during the hottest month here in the state did not exceed 35 degree Celsius. Summer in Manipur was equivalent with those of the Indian states close to the Rajasthan cities.
Temperature recorded today here in Imphal is 31 degree Celsius and is expected to rise tomorrow. As of today there are no report of any dead due to the rise of temperature, but for sure news paper of tomorrow will have to reserve space for news story about dead of human by the scorching heat.
Well whom are we going to blame for the kind of happening? Is the drastic change in the climatic condition a natural phenomenon or is it because of the kind of crime committee by the human being? – A matter everyone needs to ponder.

Leaving aside the environmentalists, it now becomes a fashion for the ministers and bureaucrats to talk about environment. A selfie while planting trees in their best outfit seem to be pride for them.
As according to environmentalists, the geographical character of the state is perhaps a boon. The climate of Imphal and other valley districts are maintained by the hills surrounding the valley. As for the Imphal Valley, it the Langol Hill Range and the number of trees on it that has been controlling the carbon emission. The Khoubru Hill range, the Baruni etc. too are also important factor that control the climate of the state. Saying so it was the number of wild trees that grows on those hills that actually controlled the climate. When there is no trees in the mentioned Hill range they are too helpless in maintaining the climatic condition of the state.
Is it the common men that has to be blamed for cutting of the trees? Wel common man always struggle for live and they do whatever available to feed themselves as well as their family. Those in the village are left with no choice but to cut down the trees for earning their livelihood. As for holding top job in the government and those ruling the state, they know that trees should be saved. Crore and crore of rupees have been spent to make plant grows at barren land of the state. They also know that until a proper planning is taken up by framing a policy for those who are depending on the forest product, the hills of the state which had been controlling the Imphal valley will look barren. So, it is definitely the government that is responsible for the kind of destruction of forest that has been taking place in the state.
Seizure of truck loads of woods is also a means to help in protecting the forest, but if it is done for photo session and publicity matters, then Manipur may perhaps become a desert like state someday.
Government authority’s commitment is reminded as the recent plantation of saplings by volunteer of Manipuri Students’ Federation at the peak of the Koubru Hill will make no sense.
Villagers of Koubru should be rehabilitated so that they themselves started protecting trees in the hill range. On how to change the mindset of the villagers, it is left upto the bureaucrats to think on it, or what is the use spending so much public money for each of them in the form of paying salary and allowances.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.

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