A day after Nagaland Timber Traders’ Union (NTTU) exposed the alleged manipulation of wagon allotment by higher-ups in the Forest Department and a minister, the Timber Traders Welfare Union (TTWU) has also demanded for allotment of wagons to genuine beneficiaries.
TTWU president Henizhe Awomi and general secretary I. Wati Lemtor in a press release also alleged that in spite of repeated reminders to the authority, the reserved quota meant for working scheme holders were being sold to “moneyed individuals” to the tune of Rs. 2 to 2.5 lakhs per wagon, which was beyond the reach of local farmers and traders.
“On the other hand, the local traders could not maintain the selling rate of produce at par with rational profit due to the escalating demand of the Forest Department. This issue has been divulged to the notice of the Forest minister and department concerned but all went to deaf ears and this exercise of extortion is going on without any redressal,” TTWU said.
Union also said NTTU and its district units have on various occasions highlighted the plight of the timber farmers and moulding beat units on the “illegal issue” of allotting 35 train wagons quarterly, particularly reserved for the traders of this category.
TTWU said that rampant manipulations in various sectors have deprived the genuine and deserving individuals and that the whims of people at the helm of power were responsible for the backlog in “development and prosperity of the economically backward class.”
Urging the authority to modify the code of allotment of wagons to accommodate genuine beneficiaries of all districts on rotation basis, TTWU cautioned it “would not remain mute spectator but route out the issue to higher authority and seek legal intervention to end the menace once and for all.”