TURA | Dec 05, 2018:
An minor accident in Garo Hills this morning opened up a pandora box after it was discovered that the truck which overturned on the National Highway near Rari under North Garo Hills was transporting illegal timber.
The truck, which was allegedly carrying timber from one of the forest reserves lost control while taking a turn after which the vehicle was abandoned by its occupants. The vehicle bore registration ML 09 9046 and was carrying both sal and teak logs.
Police sources confirmed that the logs were being illegally shipped and a case being taken up by the forest department on the matter.
The overturning of the truck has pointed to a deeper collusion between authorities under whose very noses these illegal acts are undertaken.
“This is the state of the protectors of our environment. How come the truck was able to even get to Rari in NGH with timber that we believe was picked up from East Garo Hills. There are so many forest gates and police stations. What were they doing – sleeping through their duty,” asked president of environment based NGO, CEPARD, SR Sangma.
The NGO has also asked for an inquiry into what it has termed as a deep rooted conspiracy to destroy the forest reserves of Garo Hills.
Recently huge amounts of timber were seized in a raid in the village of Chibinang in West Garo Hills, which also saw the closure of 6 such illegal saw mills. However locals from the area stated that other saw mills, which had not been touched, were still functioning normally, showing the extent to which the trade has been emboldened by the lack of action.