Timber mafia operating out of Udalguri district of Assam seems to be on a roll.
Under the very nose of the Assam forest department, illegal band sawmills and sizing saw machines have allegedly come up in Udalguri.
Illegal band sawmills and sizing saw machines have allegedly sprung up in various parts of Udalguri district including in Bhergaon sub-divisional areas like Khoirabari, Jhargaon, Dalangkhat, Mougaon and Dimakuchi.
Sources said that nefarious circles have set up band sawmills by getting into an unholy nexus with a section of forest department officials.
“Illegal timber milling and smuggling have been going on for a long time, which has also resulted loss of revenue for licensed timber mill owners. Despite tip offs, the forest department officials hardly act,” said a proprietor of licensed timber mill.
“Timber mafia have been using band sawmills in the area on a massive scale and that is next to impossible without an unholy nexus with a section of forest department officials,” said a noted wildlife activist of Udalguri requesting anonymity.
The nature organisations and wildlife activists in Udalguri district of Assam have urged the district administration to check and act on the illegal timber milling in the area.
According to Assam Wood-based Industries (Establishment and Regulations) Rules, 2000, barring in permitted areas, one cannot set up or operate a band sawmill.