NAHARKATIA: News has been published in The Sentinel since the past couple of days about deforestation and illegal logging in the Jeypore Rainforest area of Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary. However, the Forest department has totally failed in preventing this.
The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the 'East-Amazon', has been playing an important role in maintaining the balance of the environment and biodiversity. However, deforestation in Jeypore Rainforest and many other areas of the sanctuary has led to the loss of its identity due to some unscrupulous people's involvement.
Many timber smugglers from the Naharkatia-Jeypore-Namrup area have been involved in the destruction of valuable trees like Holong, Mekai, Titachapa and Chagun in the sanctuary. Many well-known people are allegedly involved in this by managing some officers and staff from the highest level to the lowest level of the Forest department.
Large parts of the Basobnola area, surrounded by the Titachapa tree, and falling under the Hukanjuri Beat Office of the Jeypore Rainforest, have been deforested by some illegal timber smugglers. According to eye-witnesses, domestic elephants are used to extract these trees from forests. Similarly, in many areas like Central Road and other parts under the Kathalguri beat of Jeypore forest, the perpetrators have cut down large-scale trees like Hoolong, Mekai and Titachapa.
There are two Assam Police Battalion Outposts situated near the Kathalguri and the Hukanjuri beats of the Jeypore Rainforest. However, the Forest department and the administration have failed to prevent deforestation.
On the other hand, a large number of 10-15 year-old Holong and Mekai trees of the Abhaypur area under this forest are cut down on a daily basis and the timber is supplied to various illicit liquor factories of nearby areas and the bakery factories in the Namrup area. Some illegal timber traders from Naharkatia supply this timber in the Moran area at night almost on a daily basis.
As a result, valuable trees of the Abhaypur region of Jeypore Rainforest are on the verge of extinction. In addition, in the Upper Dihing West Block Reserve Forest under the Digboi Forest Division of the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, about 500 metres away from the River Buridihing in the areas of Lakhijan, Vitor Pawai, Kuruka, Bar Kuruka and Nagavasti, valuable trees like Halakh, Hoolong and Titachapa are felled regularly.
The Burhidihing River is used to supply the wood logs to various legal and illegal timber mills in Naharkatia, as well as in many other timber mills in the Bhadai Pachali area.