Forest dept continues to collect money illegally: alleges NTTU

Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, MAY 13 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/13/2019 12:35:30 PM IST

Nagaland Timber Traders’ Union (NTTU) on Monday alleged that forest officials manning check gates are still resorting to collection of money illegally even after the forest department had assured the union members of initiating an inquiry to the complaint filed by them.

Speaking to media persons here, NTTU president Kevise Sogotsu said a timber-laden truck coming from Phek was forced to pay Rs 3,000 at Pfutsero check gate on May 8, Rs 3,500 at Peducha check gate and Rs 4,000 at Chumukedima check gate on May 9.

He also criticised the forest department for asking the union to furnish transit permit (TP) for transportation of timber when its officials manning the three check gates were resorting to illegal collection without issuing TPs.

Countering a letter issued by conservator of forest to the NTTU president insisting the union furnish TP “as per list provided” by it, Sogotsu asked, “Who is the authority to issue TP? Is it NTTU or forest department? Why is the department insisting on us to furnish TP?”

In the letter, the department has also stated that an inquiry for removal of the forest check gates is at an advanced stage. Sogotsu, however, alleged that the department is still allowing its officials to continue their illegal collection.

He asserted that NTTU will continue to fight for removal of inter-district forest check gates.

Reiterating the union’s earlier demand, the NTTU president said TP rate for every district should be reasonable and below Rs 3,000. He also appealed for deployment of police flying squads for timber-laden trucks plying from Kiphire to Dimapur twice a week.



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