FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SIVASAGAR, November 11: Despite several necessary steps taken by the district administration, smuggling of wood and other valuable forest products is rampant in Sivasagar, with the smugglers continuing to exploit forests for persol gain.
However, this time with the active role of some Youth Congress members of Sivasagar, Sivasagar Forest Department maged to catch hold of two trucks carrying pinewood recently.
According to sources from forest department, a team of Sivasagar Youth Congress recently detained two 10-wheeled trucks bearing tegistration Number NL-01 B-3551 and PD-19 E-5492, carrying pinewood from Meghalaya to Tizit of galand at NH-37 in Sivasagar. The two pinewood-laden trucks were later handed over to the Divisiol Forest Officer of Sivasagar Forest Division.
When contacted, ACF Suson Gogoi said that they had seized the two pinewood-laden trucks after being informed by the youths but they were shifted to the Haluwating Forest Beat Office due to space shortage in the Divisiol Office premises. The seized wood is at present in the possession of Haluwating Beat Office and measurement of the seized wood is going on, Gogoi said.
As per allegations made by Rupraj Baruah, a Youth Congress worker, smuggling is taking place in Sivasagar as most of the trucks are hardly checked thoroughly. He also alleged that the smuggling activity had tactic support of influential politicians.
According to allegations made by Baruah, illegal trade of coal is also rampant in Sivasagar. He alleged that a syndicate was active in transportation of illegal timber and coal in Sivasagar. Baruah also said that at least 100 coal-laden trucks move through Sivasagar every day, but the administration had ridiculously failed to check the corrupt trade.
On the other hand, sources said that maximum illegal coal depots were located at Charaideo and zira subdivisions, which run under the shadow of some political leader and high-level police officers. The illegal coal trade has become a major source of revenue for a few political leaders and a section of high-level police officers as they get a chance to collect huge money from the coal mafia, said the sources.