Assam: Timber smuggling continues unabated inside Raimona National Park in the name of PMAY-G house

Assam: Timber smuggling continues unabated inside Raimona National Park in the name of PMAY-G house

A massive timber smuggling has been going on inside the Raimona National Park along with the Chirang reserve forest in the name of PMAY-G house, said sources.

It is to be noted that Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) is a government home scheme, where the doors, windows, and roof truss are wooden or treated timber as per government guidelines.

Now, to complete the construction of the PMAY-G houses, timber requirements have grown massively high in the market which has resulted in a timber crisis in the nearby markets of the National Park and reserve forest.

''To fulfill the PMAY-G beneficiary's need, timber smuggling inside Raimona National Park and adjoining Chirang reserve forest have increased rampantly,'' sources familiar with the development told India Today NE.

Raimona forest, which is home to many Golden langurs, is a Schedule-l species in India and is only found between the eastern part of the Manas river and the western part of the Sonkosh river.

''Accordingly, in March, nine timber-loaded bicycles were seized deep inside Raimona National Park, where the miscreants flee taking benefits of the wilderness inside the Park,'' they added.

Besides this, a huge catch of Lali timber was intercepted in the Ultapani range under Holtugaon Forest Division in Kokrajhar, treated Lali which is best for its use in roof trusses as per the beneficiaries.

As per the sources, recently, nine tractor trolleys loaded with timber logs were seized by the forest patrolling team inside Chirang Reserved Forest, where the miscreants again flew away leaving the loaded trolleys behind.

''Many similar cases are being observed for a long while, where the forest officials in such areas are much in need of patrolling vehicles instead they are bound to drive confiscated vehicles,'' sources claimed.

They also claimed that by misusing money in the name of forest development and not full filling vehicle requirements, the timber smugglers in such areas take benefit of clearing valuable trees inside the forest. 

Commenting on the same, wildlife activists speaking with this correspondent said, ''We are very enlightened by the government decision declaring Kachugaon Forest Division as Raimona National Park, while the proposed first edition of Chirang reserve forest is next.''

''The government can come out with guidelines where instead of using timbers, iron pipes can be introduced to save the forest,'' he added.

The activist further said that if these things are not stopped on time, then very soon the Raimona National Park and Chirang reserve forest will be in the books of history. 

''Human encroachment will cross its limit leaving no trees behind,'' he added.

Creating one home and destroying one's home is injustice and very painful to observe, where there are other options available in the market, the government should think about them once and put an eye inquiry into the matter, he opined.


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