The hills districts of Manipur is known for rich biodiversity. However, the forested area is fast depleting owing to deforestation brought about not only by development work but also illegal timber trade. Recently, illegal transportation of a truckload of pinewood timber was caught in Ukhrul area by the Assam Rifles personnel stationed in the district as the part of the effort to prevent timber smuggling in the state.
The truckload of illegal pinewoods were seized by Shangshak Battalion of Ukhrul sector Assam Rrifles, IGAR (South) stated in a release on Friday.
The IGAR (South) stated that following a tip off, an AR team from Shakpao post detained a truck bearing registration number MN07 C4145 at Lambui. During inspection, the AR personnel found 430 cubic feet of pinewood planks which were carrying without permit, it added.
On further verification, it was found that the timbers were being carried from Phalang saw mill and were being illegally transported to Imphal via Phalang-Shangshak-Lambui, the release stated.
The driver identified as Arunjit Meetei, 32, son of Khomil of Khurai and co-driver along with the seizures have been handed over to the forest beat officer of Litan, a representative of DFO Ukhrul, at noon the same day, it added.
The AR release further stated that it is despicable that during the current pandemic situation when the entire civil administration is focused on ensuring the safety of the people, some inimical elements like these are trying to take undue advantage of the situation and carrying out nefarious activities.
The DFO appreciated the swift action and assistance provided by AR in preventing timber smuggling in the state, it added.