FROM A CORRESPONDENT
NORTH LAKHIMPUR, May 10: The bombax trees, locally known as Shimoloo, is teetering on the brink of extinction in Lakhimpur area due massive felling of these trees by some timber smuggler here. A person who is running two illegal benches saw mills in North Lakhimpur is involved felling of such trees.
Sources said these illegal saw mills are being operatiol in the full knowledge of the district forest department.
“Two such saw mills run illegally by a person in Moidomia are largely responsible for the fast disappearance of bombax trees from the forests of Lakhimpur district,” sources said.
It masy be mentioned that bombax tree is very useful in making planks meant for casting roofs, beams and posts in RCC constructions.
“As housing and real estate business are on rise in Lakhimpur and other areas of the State, large numbers of bombax trees are felled by timber dealers illegally with full knowledge of the district forest departments and its logs are sawn in mills operated clandestinely,” added the sources.
Even though locals have complained to the Lakhimpur Forest Range Office for a long time to take actions against the two saw mills, so far no action has been taken.
On May 6 a large group of local public gheraoed the Lakhimpur Forest Range Office in North Lakhimpur demanding strict action against the two saw mills and stop felling the bombax trees. The Forest Range Officer-in-charge, Pawan Saikia ensured the protesters to take adequate measures against the two saw mills and its stockpile of bombax timbers.
However the Range Officer made no action on the following day and let a truckload of bombax timbers to be transported to elsewhere. When the irate people had returned to the Forest Range Office, the gate of the office was locked from inside. “There is a nexus between the timber dealers and forest officers in here for which such illegal activities are on the rise,” said a local.