Imphal July 9,
Shops constructed on the side of Langol hills at Tarung Guigailong Parking area were evicted today around 8 in the morning by Forest Department along with Manipur Police.
Around 14 Kutcha shops were dismantled where department considered it as new encroachers at Langol Reserve Forest though the owners considered that they didn’t encroached as they construct it on the edge of the drain without encroaching the hill and considered it as illegal eviction.
Large number of people gathered to stop the eviction process though the Forest Departments along with the Manipur Police foiled their attempt.
Speaking to media persons Divisional Forest Officer RK Amarjit said that the eviction drive of encroachers at Langol Reserve forest is a continuous process. He said that they have detected new encroachers through satellite imageries. The shops were not running for the last 6-7 years, he added.
Amarjit further asserts that 14 kutcha shops that were set up encroaching Langol Reserve Forest were evicted today.
Requesting the people living around the Langol area he appealed to stop making new structures inside the Reserve Forest areas.
Answering the question whether the shop owners have any provisions for compensation Amarjit stated that as the construction of shops were illegal there will be no compensation.
Highlighting the other encroachers, Amarjit stressed that there is a legal process and they will evict the other encroachers after the completion of the legal process which may fall before 3 December.
The dismantled shops that were evicted include hotel, groceries stores, meat shops, vegetable shop, and second hand shops.
Considering the eviction as an illegal one, aggravated shop owner Lucy Gangmei who sells vegetables said that the time given by the authority was too short and also they built their shops on the roadside without encroaching the reserve areas.
She further said that they built the shops to maintain a livelihood from the shop as they were poor people who strive to feed their families.
Considering the act as an inhumane she said that they were just a mere street vendor and also they will leave and evict the place voluntarily if the government has any plans or projects to built near it though they didn’t built on the Reserve areas.
Reminding the days of notice Lucy said that the first notice given to the shop owners were on June 17 and a notice for written explanation was delivered to them on June 25. After that they were given a written explanation on June 26. Further a notice was served to them to vacate their shops before July 5.
She added that the time given to them is very less where the authority should give at least a month time to vacate.
Being a poor family the owners were left stranded not having any idea where to complain.
Chingkheinganba has been a journalist for more than 4+ years and is popular among the team for his reporting style. In his spare time, he teaches kids from his locality. He and his parents reside in Singjamei Chingamakha Kshetri Leikai . He holds a Masters Degree in Mass Communication from Manipur University. Chingkheinganba is available via email at [email protected]
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