From a Correspondent
Tezpur, Nov 22: The seizure of mature logs of trees from timber smugglers by a team of Sonitpur West Forest Division on Tuesday in Tezpur town in Sonitpur district has once again exposed that smugglers are continuing felling trees inside reserve forests and transporting the timber to neighbouring States. According to sources, a well-knit network of trans-border timber smugglers are active in the area and are illegally transporting timber from forest reserve areas in Sonitpur district to several States and districts by various routes. Following a tip-off, a team of Sonitpur West Forest Division headed by Nityanda Ujha, Assistant Forest Conservation Officer, Sonitpur carried out an operation at around 10 am on Tuesday at Garuwanpatty area in the heart of Tezpur town and seized huge quantity of timber worth several lakhs of rupees dumped at two separate godowns by alleged timber merchants Ramesh Gupta and Rakhal Ghosh.
Forest official sources said that the seized timber had been transported from Aruchal Pradesh and the logs were of precious tress like Bula, Bonsum and Bogi Pam which would be worth several lakhs of rupees, official sources said. Smuggling of precious timber in Sonitpur district has been rampant since many years under the active patroge of some scrupulous forest officers with dozens of trucks allegedly filled with freshly sawn timber logs making their way out of Sonitpur district to other destitions in the dead of night.
Questions have been raised about the alertness of both police and forest department personnel since the timber is transported through the main routes of the tiol highway without much of a search. To check the mece of timber smuggling in this division, the forest department and police have to put in serious effort for protection and conservation of forest resources.