Guwahati, Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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Timber smuggling thriving in Karbi Anglong forests
 HOWRAGHAT, Aug 30 – Timber smugglers have been holding sway in Karbi Anglong reserve forests. Illegal trade in timbers has been going unabated in the Karbi Anglong district. Many valuable logs are being supplied to neighbouring State of Nagaland from the district.

Besides, illegal timber sawmills are growing at an alarming rate along the Karbi Anglong-Nagaon border areas. Such illegal saw mills are running openly at Samurali, Chowdhury Bazaar and Zinda Bazaar areas of Nagaon district adjacent to Howraghat. The timber smugglers operating in the Karbi Anglong reserve forests since long have been causing large-scale deforestation.

The illegal trade in timber has flourished in the State as well as Karbi Anglong district for several years now despite a Supreme Court ban, primarily because of the absence of an effective and cohesive joint mechanism between the Forest officials of Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts. As a result, timber smuggling and transportation have been continuing unabated in the hill district since the past couple of years, posing a threat to the ecological balance in the entire district.

It is worth mentioning that taking advantage of the slack administration of the Forest department, many valuable trees are being felled regularly in Karbi Anglong reserve forests and supplied daily by the timber smugglers with the support of some local people to different parts of the State as well as Nagaland. In the rainy season, the felled logs are tied up in rafts and sent down through the Jamuna river to illegal saw mills set up along the Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts. Though sometimes logs carried by the smugglers are seized by the Karbi Anglong Forest officials, still the felling of trees and supply of timbers have not been checked.

It may be mentioned here that the Bakaliaghat police under the leadership of Khargeswar Bordoloi, SI, managed to nab two persons from Shilveta Langmili area while they were loading timbers in a truck recently.

According to the police, though the duo were detained, the other timber smugglers managed to flee from the spot. A truck bearing registration number AS-09C/3348 was impounded. The two detainees were identified as Nanda Yadav and Ajit Mahatu.

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