Guwahati: In a surprise operation, several trucks carrying illegal logs and a crane were seized at Namsang-Hukanjuri stretch in Arunachal Pradesh by 18th Garhwal Rifles, Deomali camp with the help of Deomali administration.
A total of eight trucks carrying 62 logs were seized on Saturday night during the operation.
Most of the logs seized are Hollong trees. The seized items were handed over to DFO Deomali.
Sources said logging activities have become a menace in the area which was supported by underground activities.
“The trucks were heading towards Rangla near Deomali, in timber factories. Most of the trees which were slashed by the timber smugglers are from Huguri under Joypur range of Dibrugarh Forest Division. Some environmentalist of the region saw the trucks which were hidden in the jungles of Huguri some 10-12 days ago and informed the forest department about the matter but they didn’t take any step after knowing the whole episode,” said a source.
“Everyday huge numbers of trucks carrying illegal timber psses through the road but, (despite) knowing everything, the Forest Department (remains) a mute spectator. Now, the work of the Forest Department has to be done by the Army. Some corrupt officials of the Forest Department of both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have an understanding with the timber smugglers and every month they receive huge money from them,” alleged a source.
He added, “The forests of Arunachal Pradesh have been shrinking day by day due to massive deforestation carried out by the timber smugglers using modern machines to cut the trees. They usually slash Hoolong trees.”
The latest incident has once again exposed the role of the Forest Department in tackling forest crimes.
“The timber smugglers target the Hoolong trees, which are the state tree of Assam. Most of the timber factories are set up in Deomali area and with the help of trucks the logs are taken to the factories for cutting. Once again it has exposed the nexus between the Forest department and timber smugglers,” alleged Debojit Moran, an environmentalist of the region.
He said, “We would like to thank the Army for seizing the truck. They are doing the work of the forest department. Everyday forests of Assam are shrinking due to deforestation. It’s high time to take necessary action against the timber smugglers who are openly cutting trees showing thumb fingers to the administration.”