PASIGHAT ( By- Maksam Tayeng )- Acting on the tip off from certain intelligence network laid by wildlife division, the wildlife team of D. Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary detected several timber logs (138 nos) tied on raft ready to be transported to Dibrugarh, Assam from Sisar river near the confluence of Sisar and Siang river in between Seram and Kongkul village under Mebo Sub-Division today.
After detecting the illegal logs, the wildlife team informed the territorial forest team of Seram Forest Beat under Mebo RF for taking up necessary action of seizure and auction of the logs to generate revenue. On the information of the wildlife team, the Mebo RF Range Officer with his team from Seram forest beat reached on the spot today itself and cut loose the tied raft and logs which were later seen carried down by the river and found scattered near the confluence of Siang and Sisar river. On being asked why such huge illegal logs were not seized and auctioned, Range Officer, Mebo RF, O. Tayeng informed that the department does not have any funds or machinery to lift the logs even if the illegal logs were to be seized and lifted.
In the case of non availability of machineries and funds to make the seizure and on the further question of why the illegal logs were not destroyed by using Chainsaws like they did in the past to prevent re-collection of the logs by timber operators from the downstream, Tayeng said that even Chainsaw machines are not available now. “Due to non availability of vehicles and other provisions to lift the logs we are left with only one option to cut loose the raft let it carried away by the river”, added Tayeng who earlier had informed this scribe that forest official of Mebo RF are not even equipped with Revolver/Pistol/Gun for confronting with the illegal timber operators citing there has huge risk of seizure and arrest of serial timber operators.
On the other side, wildlife official informed that the detection and identification of the illegal timber operation from territorial forest areas was necessitated due to misunderstanding and blame on wildlife department by some people as timber raft are ferried down by Siang river toward Assam and these timber operators often passes near the river route of D. Ering WL Sanctuary.
“The illegal timber operators often picks up driftwoods from the Siang river side of sanctuary when their timber logs operated from the territorial forest areas are limited in number sometime, hence crushing down of illegal timber operation outside the sanctuary but closed to sanctuary boundary in fringe areas needed to be checked in letter and spirit”, quoted Tasang Taga, Divisional Forest Officer, D. Ering WL Sanctuary today.
The illegal timber logs of 130 nos were detected by a team of wildlife led by Tani Jerang, Forest Guard on the direction of DFO Tasang Taga who activated his Range Officers, Borguli and Sibiyamukh Wildlife Range to act on illegal timber activities taking place in the fringe areas also in order to prevent any possible extension of illegal timber operations in the large open river stretches of the sanctuary by the same timber mafias.
It is notable to mention here that the joint team of wildlife staff from Anchalghat, Borguli and Sibiyamukh wildlife range had intercepted two illegal timber operators from Assam recently near Mer village and Jeepghat areas close to Assam-Arunachal boundary. While one boat was seized, another managed to flee taking advantage of the flooding Siang river.
Despite the operations/drives conducted time to time against illegal timber operation by forest official here, the illegal timber loggings are not yet been able to stop. Such unregulated illegal timber operations and non seizure of detected/intercepted illegal logs in the region causes so much to the forest conservation and protection of biodiversity.
It causes loss of revenue for the state if not seized and auction out. In such cases, the quantity of the illegally operated timbers should be deducted from the total approved quantity of timber in the prescribed Working Plan of the divisions where such illegalities are reported, otherwise there has every likelihood of imbalance extraction of timber which in turn may affects in the scientific management of forests in the division.