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Timber smuggling in Dima Hasao continues

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 Feb 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Social activists express concern over depleting forest cover in the district

From a Correspondent

HAFLONG, Feb 21: Dima Hasao, the greenest district of the State, is on the verge of becoming a desert soon if smuggling of timber is not stopped at the earliest, opined social activists of Haflong. The district of Dima Hasao had been the pride of Assam being the greenest district of the State with about 86 per cent forest cover. But due to indifferent attitude and utter negligence of the forest department, the days are not far to become the district will become a desert.

Conscious people of the district, while criticizing the forest department for its utter ibility to check the smuggling of forest products even from the forest reserve, said that the students and citizens of the district were being taught to save forest and environment and also to plant trees but in practical, the forest officials are found to be involved in smuggling of timber for their petty gains.

Meanwhile, a group environmentalists from Haflong led by Dijain Hakmaosa visited several saw mills in Langting area and found a large number of illegal timber logs being dumped at the mills where the mill magers failed to produce any permit and any legal documents in regard to these timber logs, except only one mill. Hagmaosa started his campaign to protect the forest as well as environment of the district as of late, the district has experienced serious environment threat due to BG and NH construction, followed by heavy destruction of forest by smugglers in connivance with forest officials.

Hagmaosa, said the days were not far when Dima Hasao would become a desert if the wanton tree felling was not stopped immediately. He said he and his group would continue to protest till the illegal tree felling was stopped. He also informed that very soon he would be submitting a representation to the State Forest Minister with the appeal to take necessary action against the people who were involved in such illegal activities.

M N Duarah, Chief Conservator of Forest, when contacted, admitted that though they were trying their best, they had not been able to stop the illegal felling of trees. Duarah said on December 8, 2017 he himself seized 246 illegal logs in Puja saw mill at Badsabari, near Maibang and 24 illegal logs at Hatikhali and asked for the reports from DFO but till today the report was yet to reach him. He further said that to check illegal felling of trees, he had constituted a Special Task Force under the leadership of Nojen Thaosen, DFO. While shrugging off responsibility, the CCF said he had instructed the local forest officials of Dima Hasao to take action against illegal tree felling since they were from the district itself.

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