From a Correspondent
Bokajan, Jan 28: In a crackdown on illegal felling and sale of timber, officials of the Eastern Forest Range, Bokajan, in East Karbi Anglong district on Saturday busted an illegally operating saw mill and seized over 50 timber logs, besides a quantum of sawn timber from its premises.
Acting on a tip-off, the forest officials accompanied by a team of Bokajan Police, detected the saw mill operating in a village within the proposed Bokajan Reserve Forest, which has of late fell victim at hands of illegal encroachers. The officials confiscated the sawing machineries, timber logs and a pile of sawn timber estimated to be over Rs 2 lakh in value. No arrest has been made as the operatives maged to escape but an investigation has been launched to book the culprits under necessary sections of law.
Timber smugglers have been trading on forest wealth ubatedly taking advantage of the forest department’s weak infrastructure. Indiscrimite cutting of planted trees and trading of forest products have led to a severe denudation of forest cover in the Eastern Forest range.
A well-knit group of timber smugglers in supplying illegal timber to the saw mills based in Dimapur (galand). Sources allege an unholy nexus between the officials of the Forest Department and the illegal traders resulting in failure to check the illegal felling of trees, causing huge lose of forest royalty.
The traders with help of the local wood cutters, have created various tracks within the forest to facilitate bulk loading of timber logs under the patroge of the authority. The galand Police and galand based IRBN allegedly carry truck loads of firewood without paying any royalty to the forest department. Moreover, the rise in the demand for raw forest products is in turn reducing a sizeable amount of forest cover every year, thus alluring encroachers.