By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, Jan 12: The team of Deomali forest division of Tirap district led by DFO Tabom Soki has seized 470 logs in dense jungle along 47 nallahs on Tuesday which were accumulated after illegally chopping off full grown trees.
The team also raided all wood-based industries (WBIs) of Rongula area and closed two of them, informed a top politician of the district.
On receiving such information, when contacted, Environment and Forest Minister Mama Natun confirming about the seizure, saying that timber mafias have been operating and selling such illegal logs to neighbouring states for which departmental teams have been conducting operation against all odds.
Though the minister desired to take more details from PCCF R K Singh, but he did not respond repeated efforts.
Deomali forest division divisional forest officer Tabom Soki, told over telephone, that “We are at our wit’s end considering vast forest area infested with wild animals, armed timber smugglers, tough topography intersected by rivers and nallahs.
Arunachal Pradesh, spread in 83,743 km² geographical area with 66,687.78 km² or 79.63% of state’s geographical area, according to India State of the Forest Report (ISFR)-2019 and criss-crossed by many perennial rivers and streams. The state’s forest canopy density classes are 21,095.43 km² under very dense forest (VDF), 30,556.50 km² under moderately dense forest (MDF) and 15,035.85 km² under open forest (OF). The reserved, protected and unclassified forests are 20.60%, 19.02% and 60.38%, respectively.
This Eastern Himalayan state boasts of about 20% species of Indian fauna, 4,500 flowering plant species, 400 pteridophyte species, 23 conifer species, 35 bamboos species, 20 cane species, 52 rhododendron species and more than 500 orchid species, as per the ISFR-2019.
Thus, it poses tough challenges for environment and forest department to protect the natural resources, particularly reserve forests.