KAMJONG, MARCH 24, 2018 (DIPR): Forest and Environment Minister Shri Thounaojam Shyamkumar said that he will appeal to the Prime Minister and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India to intervene and stop the incessant felling of trees and timber smuggling in the Indo-Myanmar border.
The Minister accompanied by Shri Leishiyo Keishing, MLA Phungyar A/C, seized large number of illegal logs worth over Rs 1 crore at Sorathel village under Phungyar sub-division in Kamjong district yesterday.
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 kms from Imphal. Trucks bearing registration number of Nagaland and Assam were mostly loaded with logs for transportation when the Ministerial team visited the place.
Speaking to the media persons, Forest Minister said that his department have received information on the massive felling of trees especially in the border area, without the permission of the Myanmar Government. The tree 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.
Th. Shyamkumar 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.
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 need for collaboration between the State and Centre to check the cross border smuggling of timbers.
The Minister also said that the Forest Department is committed for the welfare of the people and the State and appealed to the timber traders to procure logs after receiving clearance from the Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC). He said JFMC is involved in harvesting trees and felling of trees following department’s guidelines.
Minister Shyamkumar also inspected a saw mill at Khambi Village under Phungyar sub-division in Kamjong district. Regarding the logs kept at the saw-mill, he said his department will check whether clearance has been received by the owner.
Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar inaugurated the 1st Kamo Hau Cultural Festival 2018 at Phalang village in Kamjong district yesterday. After attending the festival he visited the Khambi and Sorathel villages in the district.