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Udalguri admn to act against illegal saw mills

By Correspondent

UDALGURI, Oct 9 � The Udalguri district administration has decided to take action against those operating over 100 illegal saw mills in different parts of the district. The decision was taken after a threadbare analysis in a meeting held at the Deputy Commissioner�s conference hall here recently.

The meeting, chaired by SS Meenaxi Sundaram, Deputy Commissioner of Udalguri district, expressed serious concern over the unabated felling of trees and timber smuggling elsewhere in the district. It was felt that the main cause behind the illegal felling of trees, which was posing a threat to the biodiversity of the region, was unemployment due to which poor people have been forced to work at the behest of antisocial elements and

take to this activity to support themselves.

Speaking on the occasion, Col SN Updhyaya of the 315 Field Regiment said that the problem of deforestation in the region had an indirect link with the militancy problem in the region to an extent.

His views were also supported by some other personnel from the Army. But Govinda Basumatary, general secretary of the NDFB (Progressive), said that deforestation started in Udalguri region way back in 1992 in which a section of SULFA men and the then police personnel were also linked and it would be wrong to link militancy to it. Basumatari also held the Forest department responsible for the illegal encroachment on Orang and Kaziranga national parks in the State. He also urged the district administration to extend all possible cooperation on its mission to create greenery in Udalguri district.

Bankim Sarmah, divisional forest officer of Udalguri district, said that it was due to deforestation that encroachment on the forest land is taking place and it cannot be stopped without the collective responsibility of all parties including security forces and public of the

region.

He also explained the causes of rapid deforestation in Udalguri forest which include lack of awareness among the local people, particularly the rural mass, and non-enforcement of laws to protect forest land. He also admitted that the Forest force in the State is a demoralized lot. The forest official on the occasion also informed that there are only three legal saw mills, namely Chetry Saw Mill and Agarwalla Saw Mill in Udalguri town and Laxmi Saw Mill in Tangla and all other saw mills were found to be running without due permission from the authorities concerned.

Dipen Boro, president of the Udalguri district committee of the ABSU, observed that the ABSU has been trying its best to check the menace since the Bodoland movement and its primary committees in Dimakuchi, Harisinga, Rowta, etc., have been doing yeoman�s service to stop tree felling.

He also called for motivational and mobilisation programmes in the villages to check illegal timber smuggling in the region. The meeting was also addressed by Devajit Dutta, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Udalguri district, Michael Ganlari, Block Development Officer of Udalguri development block, the District Superintendent of Police in-charge, Army personnel from Mazbat, Kalaigaon and Rowta camps and leaders of ARSU, AASAA, AJYCP, ABSYF, AAGSU and AKRSU with suggestions like creation of awareness on global warming, wall writings, campaigning through street plays, awareness lectures in schools and colleges, villages, alternative job opportunities to the poor daily wage earners through various government schemes and stern action against the kingpins behind the illegal tree felling, etc.

Summing up the threat posed by deforestation due to illegal tree felling by a section of antisocial elements, SS Meenaxi Sundaram, Deputy Commissioner of the district, said that it was a serious matter to save the future generation from activities like illegal tree felling which has caused a major threat to biodiversity. �We must have collective responsibility and come forward with a missionary approach,� he added.

The Deputy Commissioner hoped that the social organisations, students� organisations, NGOs of the district and the public in general would extend all help to the district administration to check the menace and the district administration was now determined to root out all the sources of deforestation and illegal timber smuggling by enforcing laws which would be helpful to advance the already launched Mission Green Udalguri project in the district.

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Udalguri admn to act against illegal saw mills

UDALGURI, Oct 9 � The Udalguri district administration has decided to take action against those operating over 100 illegal saw mills in different parts of the district. The decision was taken after a threadbare analysis in a meeting held at the Deputy Commissioner�s conference hall here recently.

The meeting, chaired by SS Meenaxi Sundaram, Deputy Commissioner of Udalguri district, expressed serious concern over the unabated felling of trees and timber smuggling elsewhere in the district. It was felt that the main cause behind the illegal felling of trees, which was posing a threat to the biodiversity of the region, was unemployment due to which poor people have been forced to work at the behest of antisocial elements and

take to this activity to support themselves.

Speaking on the occasion, Col SN Updhyaya of the 315 Field Regiment said that the problem of deforestation in the region had an indirect link with the militancy problem in the region to an extent.

His views were also supported by some other personnel from the Army. But Govinda Basumatary, general secretary of the NDFB (Progressive), said that deforestation started in Udalguri region way back in 1992 in which a section of SULFA men and the then police personnel were also linked and it would be wrong to link militancy to it. Basumatari also held the Forest department responsible for the illegal encroachment on Orang and Kaziranga national parks in the State. He also urged the district administration to extend all possible cooperation on its mission to create greenery in Udalguri district.

Bankim Sarmah, divisional forest officer of Udalguri district, said that it was due to deforestation that encroachment on the forest land is taking place and it cannot be stopped without the collective responsibility of all parties including security forces and public of the

region.

He also explained the causes of rapid deforestation in Udalguri forest which include lack of awareness among the local people, particularly the rural mass, and non-enforcement of laws to protect forest land. He also admitted that the Forest force in the State is a demoralized lot. The forest official on the occasion also informed that there are only three legal saw mills, namely Chetry Saw Mill and Agarwalla Saw Mill in Udalguri town and Laxmi Saw Mill in Tangla and all other saw mills were found to be running without due permission from the authorities concerned.

Dipen Boro, president of the Udalguri district committee of the ABSU, observed that the ABSU has been trying its best to check the menace since the Bodoland movement and its primary committees in Dimakuchi, Harisinga, Rowta, etc., have been doing yeoman�s service to stop tree felling.

He also called for motivational and mobilisation programmes in the villages to check illegal timber smuggling in the region. The meeting was also addressed by Devajit Dutta, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Udalguri district, Michael Ganlari, Block Development Officer of Udalguri development block, the District Superintendent of Police in-charge, Army personnel from Mazbat, Kalaigaon and Rowta camps and leaders of ARSU, AASAA, AJYCP, ABSYF, AAGSU and AKRSU with suggestions like creation of awareness on global warming, wall writings, campaigning through street plays, awareness lectures in schools and colleges, villages, alternative job opportunities to the poor daily wage earners through various government schemes and stern action against the kingpins behind the illegal tree felling, etc.

Summing up the threat posed by deforestation due to illegal tree felling by a section of antisocial elements, SS Meenaxi Sundaram, Deputy Commissioner of the district, said that it was a serious matter to save the future generation from activities like illegal tree felling which has caused a major threat to biodiversity. �We must have collective responsibility and come forward with a missionary approach,� he added.

The Deputy Commissioner hoped that the social organisations, students� organisations, NGOs of the district and the public in general would extend all help to the district administration to check the menace and the district administration was now determined to root out all the sources of deforestation and illegal timber smuggling by enforcing laws which would be helpful to advance the already launched Mission Green Udalguri project in the district.