GUWAHATI, Nov 8 - In the face of continued reports of smuggling of coal, cattle, supari (betel nut), liquor and forest produce, the Home department has spelt out the role of agencies in combating the problem and has sought an action plan from them.
In an order, the Home department asked seven departments to prepare an action plan for conducting enforcement drives and to put in place a “robust mechanism” to periodically review the performance of district officers and the progress achieved in such drives carried out in the field.
The order made it clear that “initiation for checking drives has to be taken by the departments concerned and police would only assist the officials of the departments in performing their duties”.
The Home department also asked the DGP to instruct the SPs to provide assistance whenever requested by the departments concerned.
The Transport department has been asked to issue strict directions to all DTOs for conducting random drives at strategic places to check overloading and other violations of the Motor Vehicle Act and route permits.
The Finance (taxation) department will also conduct drives to check if vehicles carrying coal have valid GST papers, e-way bills, etc.
Pointing out that the Forest department was responsible for checking illegal transportation of sand, stone and other forest produce, the Finance (taxation) department in collaboration with Customs and Central Excise will deal with cases of illegal transportation of supari.
In addition to assisting the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department, police have also been authorised to act under the law for preventing illegal transportation of cattle and other livestock.
The order came against the backdrop of the seizure of 25 betel nut-laden trucks by police in the city. The case has been dragged to court by the owners even as police continues it investigation to ascertain the credentials of the consignments. Separate probe teams were sent to the Barak Valley and Mizoram, and investigators say several lapses have been detected, including non-existence of firms shown in the papers.