CCF: Arunachal timbers smuggled in night, Assam help sought to nab mafias

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Sept 27: While people preferred to remain in homes scared by killer Coronavirus, but timber smugglers have been in field to fell and loot trees to plunder the lush green glory of Arunachal Pradesh.

This has been reported by Tezu-based Eastern Arunachal Circle chief conservator of forests (CCF) Gulab Singh that instances of illegal collection of timbers, particularly from forest divisions of Namsai, Lohit & Lower Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh and transportation through inter-state boundaries have been  reported by DFOs and their range officers concerned.

Though they along with their frontline staff are conducting patrolling regularly, but failed to check totally as miscreants have been taking chance for their illegal activities by using  roads which are non approachable easily during night hours, he informed.

Informing Jorhat-based Eastern Assam Circle CCF about such illegal timber transportation in a letter, he said that many illegal timber laden vehicles were seized in the past while persons involved arrested and booked under relevant section of Indian Forest Act & Assam Forest Regulation in an effort to control illegal activities.

Though all out efforts are being made to break the chain of timber smugglers, still transportation of illegal timbers are going on, especially during night hours, he said, and suspected that mafias from Assam in connivance with forest officials of Assam and Arunachal are encouraging such illegal collection involving locals of Assam mostly Khair timber from Lohit Forest Division of Arunachal Pradesh and transporting it through porous boundaries of Assam & Arunachal Pradesh.

Therefore, “you are requested to direct your DFO posted along Arunachal Pradesh boundary to conduct regular patrolling to check movement of illegal timber and take strong action against culprits as without your cooperation, such illegal movement cannot be stopped fully,” the letter added.

Car laden with Khair logs seized, driver held

 Tezu correspondent adds: A white Alto (No AS/25G/9526) laden with Khair logs and coming from Bhekhuliang side was seized by forest guards after chasing 35-km on last Friday evening and arrested the driver.

The patrolling forest guards of noticed the car and asked to halt at Digaru tri-junction but it drove away on Alubari-Namsai road. The team chased and seized the car at Namsai forest gate, Lohit forest division DFO S Manyu said, adding Khair trees are diminishing due to rampant smuggling through porous border to Assam despite routine patrolling to maintain vigil. But, he lauded forest guards Musanglu Kri and Minam Tayeng for their prompt action.

Khair trees, seen along both sides of NH- 13 after Lohit Bridge towards Digaru to Tezu, adds to picturesque environment of Lohit district. However, same plantation is wide in Digaru & Paya ranges on both sides of NH toward Lower Dibang Valley but are illegally felled and smuggled to Assam. This tree has high medicinal value and its red portion is used for making kattha or khoyer (in Assamese and Bengali), a main ingredient of paan.

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