Large scale timber supply to exterior places by the local traders in Dhemaji has raised concerns among the nature lovers.
According to report, large scale timbers from Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh which are levied to Assam forest department is supplied to South Indian states through Rangiya-Murkongselek BG rail route of NF railway.
It is reported that ten wagons out of a total 32 have been filled with chopped timbers at Murkongselek (Jonai) railway station, which are kept ready for shipping to Delhi and other South Indian states within a couple of days.
Sources from Arunachal Forest department informed that the officials issued transit permit against carrying of about 600 cubic meters classified chopped timbers from Pasighat forest division with levying to Assam forest department.
“Necessary permission from the Supreme Court and Shillong based MoEF office has been granted and higher ups of forest officials have already conducted inspection on the timbers. Levy tax has also been paid to Assam forest department against the supplied timber along with clearance for shipping through Assam route”, Pasighat Divisional Forest Officer (T) Tabang Jamoh told Northeast Now.
Arunachal forest officials however maintained silence on the source of the chopped timbers accumulated in large scale within a short period.
Confirming the forest department report, NF railway official at Murkongselek (Jonai) informed that forest department so far booked ten rail wagons out of a total 32 for loading chopped timbers and the numbers of wagons might be increased till Wednesday next.
Earlier in April this year, local traders supplied huge quantities of chopped timbers from the area through rail route in the same manner, wherein a section of Assam forests officials were embroiled into controversy.
There are reports of illicit timber trading and smuggling of forest wealth at Assam-Arunachal boundary here as the foresters of both states seized huge quantities illegal timbers on several occasions. Notably, about a dozen illegal saw mills are running in East Siang of Arunachal bordering to Assam.
The elite section of people including nature lovers of the region raised questions over the unhindered timber trading and large scale timber supply from the area. Finger of suspicion has been pointed towards the forest officials of both states in this regard.