A stepped up felling of trees in the reserved forest areas in Arunachal Pradesh seems to posed a huge threat to the ecological health of the north eastern state forcing the authorities to ensure tight vigil to deal with the situation.
A circle of timber mafias has been remaining active in the jungles who keep felling many trees utilizing modern techniques and machineries on every passing day.
The massive tree felling goes unchecked in Pasighat reserved forest where hundreds of high demand trees, Hollock (Terminaliamyriocarpa) have already been felled from Loki area.
Talking to Assam Times, Tadang Taga, ADCF who looks ater the Central Mobile Squad under Chief Conservator of Forest,Central Arunachal circle, hundreds of felled trees were seized from Loki area on Friday.
He said, “The trees must have been mostly cut downduring monsoon season taking the flood like situationin the riverine island.We could come across 100 stumps/butts within Loki areas, more such illegalfelling must have been done in other areas.”
Taga who was accompanied by Range Officer, Ojing Jamoh, Beat officer, Moralali, T. Mize andothers said thetimber mafias have picked only the Hollock trees which have huge demand in the market.
He said the perpetrators have used power chain saw and push cart with motor bike wheels to cut down and transport the logs to river and transported it to their desired destination through rafting Siang River.
Range Officer, PasighatRange, Jumgo Geyi said that, he and his men are trying hard to stop suchfelling despite the adverse condition during flood time.
“We have even madearrest on such cases during September 2015 at around 11.30 PM in the island/Patungareas and handed over the same offender to police at around 1 AM next morning.And several power chain saw machines were also seized from many people”, addedGeyi.
Another officer,Obang Tayeng, RO Mebo also rued the same problem. He said that, there have lotsof hurdles in tackling the illegalities despite which several arrests andseizures were done in recent time also. Due to lack of men and machineries thetimber mafias takes advantage who are well equipped with modern equipment likePower
Chain Saw, JCBs, better trucks to do the illegal business. “
According to the forestofficials, the easy availability of Power Chain Saw in the market need to beregulated by the state government, as these machines are reason behind massivetree felling in the state today.
If these machines are put under licensecategory, it will be easier to tackle the menace. The same stands in the caseof Air Gun in restricting rampant killings of birds and squirrels, informed aforest officer.
Another reason behind demoralizing sincere officers and staffslike Tayeng and Geyi are lack of promotional scope and recognition as per the groundand real time performances.
In order to tackle suchrampant felling of valued trees and to check massive deforestation here in thestate of Arunachal Pradesh, the state government will require to come up with astrong law to check it.
Else, the state forest coverage which israpidly decreasing leading to drying/disappearing ups of several streams,rivulets, rivers even to the extent of extinction of some plants and animal specieswill face more destruction in days to come, cautioned a forest officer.
Posting of more young male Forester, Forest Guard staffs in the Reserve areas, Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks will help tackling more such illegalities, as most of the women staffs stays away discharging duties in such places.
In this connection, Lok Sabha MP, Ninong Ering, said that, he had informed about such illegal operations in the Loki areas to DFO (T), Tabang Jamoh and SP, Pasighat Pranav Tayal. "No steps were taken to arrest and stop the illegalities on time during the monsoon, it is useless to make hue & cry at this hour when its too late", added Ering.