Unabated encroachment affecting forest cover under Haltugaon forest division in Assam’s Kokrajhar district; smuggled timber worth Rs 5 lakh seized
Kokrajhar: Sleuths of state forest department and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) posted at Saralpara along the Indo-Bhutan border have seized three sal timber-laden tractors, worth over Rs 5 lakh in the open market, at Ultapani in Assam’s Kokrajhar district on Monday.
Soon after securing inputs about the smuggling by the timber mafia at Ride no.9 & 10 under Ultapani range office, a joint operation team of forest and SSB jawans from Saralpara, conducted an operation against the timber mafia along the Indo-Butan border areas inside deep jungles of the Haltugaon division and able to detect three tractors laden with sal timber and a two-wheeler bike from the miscreants.
The operation team detected the tractors, sal timber and a bike and, later, these were brought to Ultapani forest range office.
Meanwhile, the range officer of Ultapani Range, Hemanta Mushahary, told that the forest department has been taking stern measures against the timber smuggling in the area, yet could not come out to put a brake on the deforestation due to lack of adequate staff and infrastructure in the department.
“Unabated encroachment has adversely affected the forest cover under the Haltugaon forest division. Due to lack of sufficient infrastructure and staff members, operations against encroachers, timber smugglers are not taking place on regular basis. However, we are very much happy that we managed to conduct a successful operation here. Strict action will be taken against the guilty,” Mushahary added.