Tura(Meghalaya ),July 18: Following increasing cases of timber being illegally smuggled from the various districts of Garo Hills, the FKJGP has asked forest authorities, both from the state and the GHADC, for more vigilance to stop the loot of the region’s forest resources.
Yesterday the NGO was informed by some villagers of Grenggandi under South West Garo Hills (SWGH) of suspicious movement by some unknown people. The villagers had suspected the group of being timber smugglers as they were loading timber logs in a Mahindra Pik-up.
“We were informed by the villagers and rushed to the spot. We noticed the vehicle near the village and stopped it over suspicion of timber smuggling. We found a huge amount of timbers that had been filled into the vehicle,” said general secretary of FKJGP, Raksrang Sangma.
He added that the vehicle had no documents or permission from any of the authorities concerned. In fact the vehicle did not even have a registration number displayed on the vehicle.
“We then apprehended the vehicle and handed the same to the divisional forest office of the state in Tura,” added Raksrang.
The NGO appealed, through a release to the forest authorities, to be more vigilant as cases such as these were on the rise and posing a threat to the ecosystem of Garo Hills.
“The root cause of the increase in timber smugglers is the presence of plenty of illegal saw mills operating with no trouble from any corner, in the plain belt region of Garo Hills. To minimize the smuggling of forest products, the concerned authorities must crack down against these illegal saw mills which are not even operated by the locals,” he asserted.
The NGO further promised to work along with forest authorities in its efforts to crackdown completely against the illegal timber trade and safeguard the forests of Garo Hills.
“To all smugglers we want to press forward this message that we, the FKJGP will not be silent spectators to their crimes and we will protect our forests,” stated Raksrang.