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Forest dept bid to check anomalies

By Rituraj Borthakur
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GUWAHATI, July 22 - Faced with rampant irregularities in quarrying and trading of minor minerals in the State, the Forest department is set to switch over to an online system of issuing permits and monitoring the mineral laden vehicles through GPS.

A pilot project � a pet project of Forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya � will be launched in Cachar division on July 25 during the Mahila Samaroh which will also be attended by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

It will be implemented in other divisions very shortly, sources in the forest department told The Assam Tribune.

�The system will enable direct payment of forest royalty by the contractors into the account of government, thereby drastically reducing the processing time of issue of permit. It will also bring in transparency and accountability,� the source said.

The transit permit will be generated electronically after payment of royalty by the contractor. The system, forest officials hope, will reduce the pilferage of precious minor minerals and also increase the government revenue.

Also, all the vehicles carrying minor minerals will be fitted with GPS and monitored online. �From the time the trucks enter the quarry till they unload the items, the vehicle will be monitored through GPS,� the source said.

�There will be several benefits from the system. Besides checking irregularities and increasing revenue, it will help intensify the pace of various ongoing government development works such as PMGSY, PMAY, etc.,� the source added.

A recent internal inquiry by the forest department had revealed rampant anomalies in the quarrying of sand and stones in the State. Doubts were raised in the veracity of the challans found in possession of the transporters.

In the present system, there was practically no monitoring system as everything was manual. The same permits were reportedly used several times by tampering the numbers and dates and there was no mechanism to verify.

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Forest dept bid to check anomalies

GUWAHATI, July 22 - Faced with rampant irregularities in quarrying and trading of minor minerals in the State, the Forest department is set to switch over to an online system of issuing permits and monitoring the mineral laden vehicles through GPS.

A pilot project � a pet project of Forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya � will be launched in Cachar division on July 25 during the Mahila Samaroh which will also be attended by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

It will be implemented in other divisions very shortly, sources in the forest department told The Assam Tribune.

�The system will enable direct payment of forest royalty by the contractors into the account of government, thereby drastically reducing the processing time of issue of permit. It will also bring in transparency and accountability,� the source said.

The transit permit will be generated electronically after payment of royalty by the contractor. The system, forest officials hope, will reduce the pilferage of precious minor minerals and also increase the government revenue.

Also, all the vehicles carrying minor minerals will be fitted with GPS and monitored online. �From the time the trucks enter the quarry till they unload the items, the vehicle will be monitored through GPS,� the source said.

�There will be several benefits from the system. Besides checking irregularities and increasing revenue, it will help intensify the pace of various ongoing government development works such as PMGSY, PMAY, etc.,� the source added.

A recent internal inquiry by the forest department had revealed rampant anomalies in the quarrying of sand and stones in the State. Doubts were raised in the veracity of the challans found in possession of the transporters.

In the present system, there was practically no monitoring system as everything was manual. The same permits were reportedly used several times by tampering the numbers and dates and there was no mechanism to verify.

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