Arunachal: Magistrate intercepts illegal timber logs near Seram Forest Beat, but timber mafias managed to flee with the timber rafts
PASIGHAT-( Maksam Tayeng )- Acting against the rampant illegal logging of timbers, the Circle Officer, Namsing Circle under Mebo Sub-Division intercepted a raft of illegal logs totaling around 53 in number on Wednesday night from Siang River bank at Seram village bridge point near territorial Seram Forest Beat under Mebo RF in Pasighat Forest Division.
Informing about the interception of the illegal logs, magistrate Namsing Circle, Radhe Tatung said that he got the information about the illegalities and visited the Siang river bank at Seram village bridge point and found a large raft of illegal logs tied on Fighter Boat to transport the logs to Assam.
“On finding the logs we interrogated the boat men who were 6 members and they were from Assam. They said that the logs were bought from a local timber log supplier. Since it was already 9 PM, we noted the Boat registration number and seized the boat starting handle directing them to appear at my CO office at Namsing on Thursday. While on the way back to Namsing CO office complex we again intercepted a vehicle carrying timber logs on the same night”, said Radhe Tatung.
The detection of illegal timber logs raft was informed to Mebo RF Range Officer, Oson Tayeng and Sibiyamukh Wildlife Range, Range Officer, Domek Koyu for verification and seizure of the logs. But unfortunately, the timber mafias who were directed to appear before the CO Office on the next day today fled off with the boat and timber raft at night. However, the magistrate has directed the concern RFO Mebo RF under whose jurisdiction the incident of timber smuggling took place, to book a case against the illegal timber operators and suppliers and to investigate further to unearth the gang of timber mafias operative in the area.
When contacted, RFO Mebo RF, Oson Tayeng said that the illegal logs seized from the vehicle by the magistrate were seized and a case will be registered against the timber suppliers. “We returned to Range Office just now from the field duties of timber seizure, as it’s too late now (around 7 PM), the case will be registered tomorrow for further investigation.
Two numbers of unregistered Chainsaw machines were also seized and the same has been sent to the custody of Addl. Dy. Commissioner, Mebo, as ADC Mebo had also issued a directive to all chainsaw owners recently to register their machines with immediate effect”, added Tayeng. Concerned about the rampant illegal timber operations in the area, RFO Mebo has appealed PCCF office, Itanagar to provide weapons like Rifle, DBBL guns and Revolver including an Engine Boat for effective patrolling duties, as timber mafias are mostly equipped with weapons and confronting with such illegal timber mafias has huge life risk for forest staffs.
ADC Mebo, Ainstein Koyu has also visited the illegal logging and rafting sites under Seram Forest Beat today and has directed the CO Namsing and forest officials to keep vigil over such illegal timber operations to protect flora & fauna.
It is worth mentioning here that, the people of Seram village under Mebo Sub-Division, led by Gaon Burahs and Village Secretary had appealed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest & Principal Secretary (E & F), Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh to act tough against the rampant illegal timber operations in the region when PCCF RK Singh paid a visit to the Namsing village recently.
Seram villagers have been appealing the Pasighat Forest Division to stop the illegal timber operations in the region from last year, but saddened with the failure of the forest department, the villagers here have also had appealed the state’s Forest Minister and Chief Minister, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh in a representation submitted recently, to help and protect to retain the forest coverage of the region as rampant illegal logging has largely led to massive deforestation.
Seram village former village Secretary, Amit Modi who also accompanied the CO Namsing last night in the checking of illegal log raft near at Seram village river bank has once again appealed the forest department to initiate a strong action against the illegal timber operators without any leniency from their part, because soft approach of the department toward the illegal timber operators directly or indirectly encourages such illegalities.
It is also worth adding here that, large numbers of illegal timber log rafts were also seized and damaged at Tarotamak areas in between Namsing and Gadum village under same Forest Division recently wherein DFO (T) Tashi Mize, Chief Conservator of Forest, CAC, Pekyom Ringu had also visited the illegal timber logs raft sites.