Manipur Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar accompanied by Leishiyo Keishing, MLA Phungyar assembly constituency, seized large number of illegal logs worth over Rs 1 crore at Sorathel village under Phungyar sub-division in Kamjong district. The Ministerial team including the Forest officials of the district, also seized 17 trucks, including a recovery van from the village, located more than 100 km from Imphal. Trucks bearing registration numbers of Nagaland and Assam were mostly loaded with logs for transportation when the Ministerial team visited the place.
The Forest Minister said that his department has received information on the massive felling of trees especially in the border area, without the permission of the Myanmar Government. The logs are brought illegally from the neighbouring country of Myanmar, mainly from the Indo-Myanmar border, are smuggled into the State. Stating that the whole world is dealing with the issue of global warming, the Forest Minister said that the massive tree felling in the Indo-Myanmar border will have adverse affect in the climatic conditions of the State and the country. Shyamkumar then said the seized logs comprising khangra, teak and yangou will be auctioned following legal procedure by the department so that royalty is collected for the State Government.
According to the minister, the smugglers are taking advantage of the proximity to the border area (the road of the village leads towards Tengnoupal district and border areas). As the department’s jurisdiction is limited in the border, he said there is the need for collaboration between the State and Centre to check the cross border smuggling of timbers.
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