“Reserved forest trees hacked down”

IMPHAL, Feb 12 : Quoting media reports, Congress MLA K Meghachandra today said in the State Assembly during zero hour that pine trees grown in Gwarok reserved forest have been cut down extensively in spite of the Supreme Court’s ruling against lumbering.
Pointing out that there are three forest offices near Gwarok reserved forest, Meghachandra asked what the Forest officials have been doing. He also demanded befitting action against the Forest Beat Officers.
Meghachandra said that he enquired to the Thoubal SP about felling trees last morning through telephone and he was told in the afternoon that some people have been arrested for felling trees. But none of the lumberjacks who were arrested had been put in jail so far. As such, many people have been not only felling trees but also sawing tree trunks manually and openly. While timber traders have been taking truck loads of timbers, Forest officials have been only collecting tax without giving any thought to the harmful effects of extensive lumbering to the environment, climate and seasonal rainfall, Meghachandra said.
He went on to ask whether Forest and Environment Department has failed totally or whether law makers should check lumbering.
Meghachandra said that Forest Beat Officers should not be given any more salary from the State exchequer.
Dr Chaltonlien Amo raised the issue of restrictions and threats made by certain UG groups upon schools or educational institutes run by a particular religious group. He also sought a solution to the issue.

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