BRIEF HISTORY :

Prior to British rule in India (1891) there was no system of forest management in the State. The population of the State was very low and hence whatever extraction had taken place was below the annual increment in the forest produce. The value of the produce could not be appreciated for lack of market and communication. There was no policy on forests. The commercial extraction of forest produce started only after 1889 through the DFO Cachar on 75:25 revenue sharing basis between the State of Manipur and the Cachar Forest division, under an agreement with the Assam Government.

During the early period of British rule, no separate forest officer was appointed. In the year 1931, the Forest Department was set up with a separate forest member in the erstwhile Manipur state Darbar. There was considerable improvement in the management of forests with a brief forest policy highlighted under the Darbar Resolution No. 10-A(1932) which envisaged the following types of forests :-

  • State Reserve- which was to be put under strict state protection.
  • Hill Village reserve – known as Pawa (¼ mile) Reserve to be maintained around each recognized hill village.
  • Valley Village Reserve – for the people residing in the valley but depending on the nearby forests for their requirements.
  • Open Reserve – open for commercial and domestic requirements of people of Manipur under permit system.

The first forest officer involved in the management of forests in the state was Mr. D.C. Kaith, an officer from Himachal Pradesh taken on deputation in the year 1932. His assignment was to write about the forests of Manipur specially the Jiri Barak drainage forests which at present covers the Western, Southern, Jiribam and a portion of the Tengnoupal Forest Divisions. He divided these areas into nineteen timber blocks for proper management and extraction. Mr. Kaith’s report was very comprehensive and is taken as the foundation of forestry in Manipur.

SIGNIFICANCE :

Forest management has assumed great importance due to the fast rate of environmental degradation. Forest can help in absorption of the enormous carbon emitted by the industries of the world. Forests are the repository of medicinal plants, orchids, non-timber forest produces and wildlife. Forests are becoming a major tourist attraction and eco-tourism has become very popular in the world. The importance of forest and environment has become so great that the subject has now been placed under the Concurrent List of the Constitution of India.

As per the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Department is presently taking up the task of writing scientific forest management plans (Working Plans) for the entire forest areas of the State of Manipur.

PRESENT ORGANISATION SET-UP :

The Department is headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, who is the senior most serving Indian Forest Service officer in the State. The wildlife wing is headed by the Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, who is the also the ex-officio Chief Wildlife Warden of the State. There is a Nodal Officer for the Forest Conservation Act, who is at the Chief Conservator of Forest level. There are three territorial Circles looking after the territorial Divisions. There are two functional Circles viz. Social Forestry Circle and the Working Plan, Research & Training Circle. The ten territorial Divisions are - Central, Southern, Eastern, Western, Kangpokpi, Senapati ,Tengnoupal, Jiribam, Thoubal and Bishnupur.

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INCUMBENCY OF HEADS OF FOREST DEPARTMENT, MANIPUR

Sl.No.

Name of Officer

Period

From

To

1.  Shri B. Surendrakumar Sama, IFS  06/04/1988  30/09/1990
2.  Shri Sh. Tomchou Singh, IFS  01/10/1990  28/02/1995
3.  Shri Th. Nganthoi Singh, IFS  01/03/1995  31/03/1998
4.  Shri Seiboi Singsit, IFS (i/c Pr.CCF)  01/04/1998  06/05/1998
5.  Shri G.K. Prasad, IFS  07/05/1998

  17/12/2004

6.  Shri Seiboi Singsit, IFS  18/12/2004

 28/02/2011

7.  Shri A. Kharshi-ing, IFS  01/03/2011

 31/10/2011

8.  Shri A.K. Rana, IFS  01/11/2011

 30/06/2014

9.  Shri P. N. Prasad, IFS (i/c)  01/07/2014

 18/11/2014

10.  Shri Bala Prasad, IFS  18/11/2014

 till date