Assam Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya while expressing concern over the ongoing illegal trade of forest resources has set a deadline for officers to end the corrupt practice and put in place a system to plug the revenue loss.
In a recent night patrol on the areas under Guwahati and Sonapur forest ranges, the minister witnessed the movement of hundreds of trucks carrying illegal sand and stones following which he had made the order. However, the official record registered only a few trucks moving with the forest resources indicating that illegal trade is thriving.
The minister after witnessing vehicles carrying illegal sand and stone held an emergency meeting with beat officers of Guwahati and Sonapur forest ranges and senior officials and warned the officers, particularly the beat officers of these two forest ranges against the illegal trade of sand and stone etc.
The minister also directed state’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forest A.M. Singh to provide adequate force to carry out raids at all activities regarding the trade of natural resources. He also said that if any officer irrespective of his designation is found to be involved in such trades he will be placed under suspension immediately and legal action will be taken against him.
The Chief Conservator of Forests has also been directed by the minister to handle the issues of permit for such natural resources required for development works by different departments like PWD, Water Resources etc. so that the illegal trade could be checked.