Agartala: Large scale smuggling of Agar tree has become a major cause of concern in North Tripura district especially in areas bordering Assam. It is learnt that most of the Agar timbers are being smuggled to Bangladesh while a good quantity also goes to Assam.
Land across 30 villages in Kadamtala and Kalacherra blocks under Dharmanagar sub-division bordering Assam is very fertile for Agar cultivation where barring several gardens almost every house has few Agar tree in their courtyard which they consider as an asset for the family.
Agar is a traditional forest product in the area but local people before were not aware about its value as they didn’t have any marketing avenue of the product. Only two/three decades ago they came to know about the value of the timber when some Assam traders started buying the trees.
At present, the biggest problem for the local people is the thieves. Stealing Agar trees from the garden and houses and smuggling them to Bangladesh or sending to Assam has become a big business for a section of people. Almost every night one or two cases of Agar theft are being reported. However, last month police chased a fleeing Maruti Car and detained one Agar thief Samsul Haque from Kalagangpara in Patharkandi. In another case, police chased another car and detained it with 16 logs of Agar tree but the driver and passengers of the car managed to flee. Later it was detected that the trees were stolen from the garden of one Madan Mohon Singh Choudhury. Surprisingly, the forest department is maintaining silence over large scale destruction of the forest product.
Also Read: Tripura News