TODAY -
Endangered species tag faces rare Siroy Lily
Source: The Sangai Express

Shirui (Ukhrul) , May 26: World-famed Siroy Lily and State flower of Manipur, which blooms only on the lofty heights of Shirui hill in Ukhrul district has become an endangered species almost at the verge of extinction so much so that the number of flowers growing in the core zone maintained by the Forest Department at the hill top could be actually counted on the finger tips.

Instead of seeing the vast expanse of the cliff covering with Siroy Lilies in wild blooms, more plastic bottles and polythenes left behind by the visiting tourists could be seen today than the number of flowers at its blossoming peak season.

Significantly, yesterday (May 25) happened to be Siroy Lily day.

After 60 years of its first discovery in 1946 by Kingdom F Ward, a Britishman, a team of officials from the State Wildlife Wing of the Forest and Environment who had gone on an inspection tour from May 23 and 24 witnessed that an unprecedented environmental change has taken place over the years reducing the natural habitat of Siroy Lily (Lilium Macklineae Sealy) following indiscriminate felling down of trees and the invasion of Machun, a variety of wild miniature bamboos expanding its growth rampantly.

To the great disappointment of seeing Siroy Lilies blooming in wild as far as the eye could see, the touring team came across just a cluster of flowers growing, that too scattered here and there.

Used water bottles and wastes strewn around the Lily


Unveiling its modesty , normally Siroy Lily blossoms in all its majestic beauty during May 15 to June 5 every year.

But this year, apart from growing scattered around at some secluded spots atop the peak of Shirui, the number of the flowers blossoming in the barb-wired core zone maintained by the Forest and Environment Department is so few that it could be actually counted on the finger tips.

Inspite of the first announcement made by the Forest Department in 1982 for setting up a National Park covering over an area of 80 hectares atop the Sirui hill and the subsequent efforts made in 1984 for acquiring over 100 hectares for the proposed National Park, as the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul to whom the task had been entrusted for doing the needful has not accomplished anything till the State Government also seems to be remaining conveniently unaware of the fate that has befallen on its State flower.

Interacting with The Sangai Express, L Muhindro, DFO (Park and Sanctuary) of Wildlife Wing, which is under the Forest and Environment Dept said changing environs of Siroy Lily has made it as an endangered species.

As no follow up action have been taken up inspite of the earlier declarations made by the Dept on two counts for acquisition of the required land for converting habitat of Siroy Lily as a National Park, the Department has not been directly involved in saving Siroy Lily from its verge of extinction, the DFO rued.

At the most, with some financial assistance from the Central Government the Department has been taking up some local support measures through providing awareness programmes and employing five local volunteers to look after and protect Siroy Lily.

71-year old Ningam Shangh of Sirui (Chingthak) village wishfully recalled that in comparison to what he had known as a child, the natural habitat of Siroy Lily has now been reduced drastically.

The geographical area of this world-famous flower used to spread till near the house where its discoverer Kingdom F Ward stayed.

But it is not so any more.

Tourists coming to see the beauty of Siroy Lily have also sneakingly uprooted a large number of these flower plants, the elderly village man disclosed.

While informing that village/club imposed a fine of Rs 500 against anyone who were found removing the plant of Siroy Lily, Ningam admitted that mass felling down of Uningthou and Leihao have resulted in ecological imbalance of Sirui hill.

Three-fourth of the total geographical area of Sirui hill is to be owned by private individuals and in the remaining public-owned one-fourth, steps have been taken up to prevent felling down of trees, Ningam said, while expressed his desire for conversion of the whole Sirui hill area as a National Park.

Apart from Siroy Lily, the villagers have been protecting Ginseng plant (Panax Psedoginseng) which has high medical value found in Sirui hill which is also home to many wild lives, Ningam added.

On the other hand, plastic bottles and polythene bags littered around by the tourists coming to Sirui hill to see the beauty of Siroy Lily in full bloom has indirectly aided in environment degradation of Siroy Lily's habitat.

Concerned over the matter, the official team conducted a social service to collect all the litters and dumped them inside the pitch dug up for the purpose by the local club.

According to another source, DFO L Muhindro inaugurated a newly constructed Wild Life Office cum Registration Centre of Incoming Tourists at Sirui village and the Department has set up a watch-tower atop Sirui hill for the benefits of the tourists.


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