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Margherita Block Congress Committee condemns govt for failing to control syndicate raj

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HT Correspondent

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Margherita, July 2: The Margherita Block Congress Committee has strongly criticised the government of Assam, accusing it of failing to control the alleged syndicate raj (illegal trade networks). Tara Prasad Dehingia, the president of the committee, stated that despite the chief minister’s pre-election promise to eradicate the syndicate system, illegal timber trade continues unabated in the Margherita constituency, specifically at 124 number Margherita, while the Margherita Forest department and the Margherita Sub Divisional Administration remain inactive.

On June 29, the Margherita Forest department seized a fully loaded illegal timber truck with registration number NL 01 AD 8077, following a written complaint submitted by Devid Phukan, vice president of Assam Pradesh Youth Congress. The timber was being transported from M/S Maharaja Forest Products in 17 Mile Jairampur, Arunachal Pradesh. However, the seized timber vehicle has not been sent to the forest court by Digboi DFO TC Ranjith Ram, even after four days, suggesting an alleged unholy nexus between the timber syndicate and Digboi DFO TC Ranjith Ram, according to Tara Prasad Dehingia.

Dehingia further revealed that on the same day the timber vehicle was seized, the Jairampur Arunachal Pradesh divisional forest officer (DFO) called Digboi DFO TC Ranjith Ram to release the illegal timber vehicle.

The relentless deforestation of precious trees such as mecai, hollong, and teeta chapa in the forest reserve areas bordering Assam and Arunachal Pradesh has been of great concern. The illegally harvested hollong trees are transported to M/S Maharaja Forest Products in 17 Mile Jairampur, Arunachal Pradesh, where they are processed into planks and boards before being transported to various parts of Assam. This illegal timber trade not only causes significant revenue loss for the Assam government but also leads to severe environmental damage. In response, the Margherita Block Congress Committee has announced plans to intensify a strong agitation program in the Margherita region.

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Tara Prasad Dehingia also mentioned that the timber syndicate gang has been using one transit pass (TP) to transport illegal timber to other parts of Assam. On July 1, the Central Goods and Services Tax (GST) department of Dibrugarh seized a timber-loaded vehicle with registration number AS 01 PC 8051.

Additionally, it has been reported from a reliable source that the Arunachal Pradesh Forest department has directed the Jairampur Forest department to seize the M/S Maharaja Forest Products timber factory for a period of three months, following the news published in this esteemed newspaper, according to Tara Prasad Dehingia.


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