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Manipur CM N Biren Singh awards Rs 10 lakh to Peh village for destroying poppy plants

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has handed over cash reward of Rs10 lakh to the residents of Peh (Paoyi) village of Ukhrul district at a gathering held at the Secretariat in Imphal.

N Biren Singh

Sentinel Digital Desk

This reward was extended to the residents of Peh (Paoyi) for voluntarily taking part in the government's War on Drugs' campaign

IMPHAL: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has handed over cash reward of Rs10 lakh to the residents of Peh (Paoyi) village of Ukhrul district at a gathering held at the Secretariat in Imphal.

Local MLA Khasim Vashum, Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar and DGP L.M. Khaute were also present at the function on Monday. The reward was given to the Peh (Paoyi) village authority for voluntarily taking part in the Manipur government's 'War on Drugs' campaign and destroying poppy plants grown in their village.

Chief Minister N. Biren wrote on his Twitter handle, ''Handed over reward of Rs10 lakhs to Peh (Paoyi) village authority of Ukhrul District, in appreciation of destroying poppy plantations under their jurisdiction, supporting our Government's 'War on Drugs', at a warm gathering held at my official residence today.''

Peh is situated roughly 30 km north of the Ukhrul district headquarters; and is home to about 600 families. The primary occupation of the village is cultivation of paddy along with bananas, chillies and seasonal vegetables.

The Chief Minister praised the villagers for their determination in destroying the poppy plantation, and added that the State government has been doing their best to curb drug abuse and trafficking in Manipur.

The Chief Minister had formally announced the reward for Peh (Paoyi) village at a media conference at his office complex on Saturday.

His announcement came after the Peh village authority sent a video of the destruction of the poppy cultivation with a message to the Chief Minister saying that the village will take part in the State government's 'War on Drugs' campaign and support the Chief Minister in fighting the drug menace in the State.

He had also informed that the government sent a team of officials from the Horticulture, Agriculture and Fisheries departments to Peh (Paoyi) on Sunday to study the local terrain and figure out which varieties of crops could be cultivated in place of poppy.

Poppy plantation is reportedly one of the major reasons for the widespread deforestation in many areas across the State. According to the latest 'India State of Forest Report' (ISFR), Manipur has lost 499 sq. km of forest cover between 2016 and 2018.

Of the total area lost, 491 sq. km fall in the hill districts of Chandel, Churachandrapur, Tamenglong, Senapati and Ukhrul. The maximum loss of about 250 sq. km forest cover was in Churachandrapur. This district, along with Tamenglong, is also prone to forest fires. (Agencies)

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