HAFLONG, April 25 - Though Dima Hasao district is generally considered to be the greenest in Assam, but the disturbing fact remains that tree-felling, particularly in border areas of Dima Hasao, has remained unchecked, and is in fact thriving.
The recent arrest of one Akum Rongmai from Khepre area for being involved in such illegal tree-felling has exposed the real picture of Dima Hasao Forest Department.
According to the villagers of Khepre, timber smuggling has been going on unabated since 2013. Though the matter was informed to the concerned department, no concrete steps were taken by the officialdom to stop the menace of timber smuggling by people from neighbouring Nagaland.
They also alleged that the gangs involved in timber smuggling are so strong and well organised that the villagers cannot dare to stop them.
Sometimes, they covertly hide nails on the road so that the tyres of vehicles of the security personnel or of the departmental officials get deflated. The villagers felt that this practice can be checked only when the Forest Department takes some bold and pragmatic steps to stem the rot.
In any case, there is widespread apprehension that if this practice of tree-felling is allowed to continue unabated, as of now, then the day is not far off when the glory of Dima Hasao of being the greenest district within Assam will remain only a mere slogan, while the district will slowly but surely turn into a barren land. The socially conscious section here have therefore sought strict action to stop illegal tree felling.