Assam environment and forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya has set a deadline of 15 days to the forest officials under Sonapur and Guwahati forest ranges to stop illegal trade of forest resources, failing which stern action will be taken against them.
The forest minister held an emergent meeting with the beat officers of Guwahati and Sonapur forest ranges in presence head of forest (HoF) AM Singh on Tuesday warned them against the ongoing illegal activities like illegal trade of sand and stone and said that any involvement of officers and staff in such activities will be treated under zero-tolerance policy.
Sources said that the development took place after the forest minister made some night patrols in Guwahati and Sonapur areas without informing the officials and spotted hundreds of trucks sand and stones moving away while the official records mentioned movement of only a few vehicles, indicating that illegal trade of sand and stones is going on.
“In the wake of the loss in respect of revenue and forest cover across Guwahati and Sonapur range under Kamrup division, all illegal activities like illegal trade of sand and stone are to be banned immediately and any involvement of any category of officers and staff in such activities will be treated under zero-tolerance policy & immediate legal action,” Suklabaidya warned.
(2/2) Any departmental staff/officer found associated with such illegal trade will face immediate legal action. I also asked to submit a detailed report within 15 days to me regarding the action plan for elimination of such illegal trade across the regions. pic.twitter.com/qQbOTJxRUp
— Parimal Suklabaidya (@ParimalSuklaba1) July 9, 2019
The minister also directed Assam’s principal chief vonservator of forests (PCCF) AM Singh to provide adequate force to take up raids at all suspected locations and check points across the above mentioned places to put control on all kinds of illegal activities regarding the trade of natural resources.
He also directed the chief conservator of forests (CCF) to take up issues of permit for development works by different departments like PWD and Water Resources so that the illegal trade could be checked.
The minister has also asked the officials to submit to him a combined detailed report by the respective range officers of the above mentioned range and division regarding their plan of action for the termination of the illegal trade within 15 days, failing which the officers will face stiff and necessary action.