SIVASAGAR, Nov 13 - Despite several steps taken by the district administration, smuggling of wood and other valuable forest products is rampant here in Sivasagar, with the smugglers continuing to exploit the forests for personal gain.
However, this time with the active role of some Youth Congress activists of Sivasagar, the Sivasagar Forest Department managed to seize two trucks carrying pinewood illegally recently.
According to sources in the Forest Department, a team of Sivasagar Youth Congress recently detained two 10-wheeler trucks (NL-01 B-3551 and PD-19 E-5492) carrying pinewood from Meghalaya to Tizit of Nagaland at NH-37 in Sivasagar. The two pinewood-laden trucks were later handed over to the Divisional Forest Officer of Sivasagar Forest Division.
When contacted, ACF Suson Gogoi said that these two pinewood-laden trucks, seized after being informed of by the youths, have been shifted to Haluwating Forest Beat Office due to shortage of space on the Divisional Office premises. The seized wood is presently in the possession of Haluwating Beat Office and measurement of the seized wood is going on.
According to Youth Congress worker Rupraj Baruah, smuggling is rampant in Sivasagar as most of the trucks are hardly checked thoroughly. He also alleged that smuggling activities go on here due to the tactic support of influential politicians.
According to Baruah, illegal trade of coal is also rampant in Sivasagar as a syndicate has been active in transportation of illegal timber and coal in Sivasagar. Baruah also said that at least 100 coal-laden trucks move through Sivasagar every day, but the administration has ridiculously failed to check the corrupt trade.
On the other hand, sources said that most of the illegal coal depots are located at Charaideo and Nazira subdivisions, which are run under the shadow of some political leaders and high level police officers. The illegal coal trade has become a major source of revenue for a few political leaders and a section of high level police officers as they get a chance to collect huge money from the coal mafias, said the sources.