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Rampant loot of forest wealth continues; Logs transported to Bangladesh despite fencing
TIWN
Rampant loot of forest wealth continues; Logs transported to Bangladesh despite fencing
PHOTO : Elephants are being used to smuggle logs. TIWN Pic

Khowai April 6 (TIWN): Another case of rampant corruption has come in the forefront. This time, it is the forest department which is under scanner. Local youths of Khowai’s Sukhiabari village are allegedly destroying valuable forest timbers and transporting it to Bangladesh to earn easy money along with other luxuries.

According to villagers of Sukhiabari village under Khowai’s Tulasikhar Block, the youths are cutting trees from the adjacent forest areas and are transporting these to Bangladesh to earn hefty money. One of the villagers who wanted his name to be kept secret said that the youths are doing this nefarious job with full cooperation from the forest officials posted at Gopal Nagar Forest Office. The villager further alleged that the forest officer posted in the Forest Beat Office is earning a huge amount of money by allowing the youths to continue with the business. It is estimated that everyday nearly 60-70 bicycles loaded with the illegally cut timbers passes through the area towards Bangladesh border and also some times to local markets with full consent of the official posted at the Gopalnagar Forest Beat Office.

“The forest officer, to show his action recovers 8-10 cft of forest wood worth nearly Rs. 4500 from the illegal traders’ at a regular interval, alleged the villager. 

When our correspondent talked to Pranjit Bhowmik, the Additional DFO of Teliamura Forest Division, the latter said that he had no information about such activities. But when shown the video footage of illegal forest logs being carried on bicycles, the additional DFO promised of action to curb such activities.

It may be mentioned here that illegal felling of valuable forest trees are going on in many forest areas of the state which is ultimately causing tremendous loss to the state’s forest wealth as well as depriving of huge revenue to the state.

The transportation of the forest logs to the other side of the fencing despite strict vigil by the BSF personnel is also a matter of huge concern and it may have further ramification in the internal security of the country.

It may be mentioned here that the Principal Secretary Forest, Dr. V K Bahuguna was removed from the post recently and the action was seen as a result of the huge lobby of the corrupt officials working against him. Dr. Bahuguna was reportedly proceeding towards taking strict actions  against corrupt officials of the department. 

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