Tree felling rampant in State

By Our Reporter

Trucks carrying illegal timber are a common sight in the city, especially at night.

 SHILLONG: Despite a Supreme Court ban on felling of trees, reckless and rampant axing of trees is still reportedly continuing in the State for the purpose of production of charcoal or for the wood-based industries in parts of Ri-Bhoi.

The lackadaisical attitude of the State Government seems to provide encouragement to traders who engage in illegal axing of trees even today despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court way back in 1997.

It is alleged that trucks loaded with timber are mostly brought at night to the factories located in Umiam after crossing several forest check gates without even coming into the notice of any enforcing agencies posted at the check gates.

When approached with reports of illegal felling of trees in the State, Forest Minister Prestone Tynsong said that a thorough inquiry would be conducted to look into the matter.

“All the wood required for the plywood industries in Ri-Bhoi should be obtained from the government plantations. But if wood is being obtained from any other source then we will have to inquire into the matter,” he added.

According to Tynsong, the government would impose fine and confiscate the charcoal if it is found that the charcoal from the State is being illegally supplied to the ferro alloy industries in Ri-Bhoi.

Tynsong also informed that a high-level committee, which is currently examining all aspects related to the use of forest land and areas by the industries especially the cement plants, is expected to submit its report soon.

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