Tura, Nov 26: The Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Samanda circle in East Garo Hills (EGH) caught a truck illegally transporting timber from within the Rongrenggre Reserve before the same was handed over to the forest department on Sunday, November 25.
The timber truck was spotted by the NGO while it was being kept hidden within the forest for transportation later at night. The vehicle was found near Rongsak Golabari and seized by the NGOs who later informed Forest and formally handed over the truck.
“The timber was smuggled from within the Forest Reserve and was kept at a secret location. It was to be transported later at night,” said one of the NGO members.
Rongrengre Reserve forest has been devastated by massive amount of illegal timber felling, most of which reaches Assam through unscrupulous smugglers from Assam in close conduit with some criminal elements from Meghalaya, some of who reside within the forest reserve itself. The Reserve has lost more than 70% of its forest cover due to illegal timber smuggling continuing over decades.
The Reserve also has huge deposits of coal which has added to the woes of the forest department. Recently four coal trucks were also seized by the department while it was smuggling the mineral late night.