Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Impasse over logging operation: State govt issues modalities

Staff Reporter

To resolve the impasse over the logging operation in Peren district between the timber traders and Peren Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the state government has issued certain modalities for strict compliance.
In an order dated June 23, 2022, commissioner of Nagaland, Rovilatuo Mor, stated that the modalities have been worked out in consideration of the demand of Peren CSOs against rampant deforestation and also the investments incurred by Nagaland Timber Traders Union (NTTU) in purchasing forest areas for logging operation.
It stated that since the appeal has been made to CSOs for release of seized logs during the interim process of negotiation, the logs should be released to DFO Peren after which the latter would dispose the seized logs in accordance to the prescribed formalities.
The order stated that the already felled trees and stocked would be accounted and to be marked by the forest department for transit as per norms. It stated that the contractors will be allowed to lift the trees only during the season as per DC Peren standing order on operational season.
On issues relating to processing of logs in Peren district, the order stated that saw mills will be allowed for operation only after approval by HPC and valid licenses are installed.
It has prohibited fresh cutting/felling of tress in the purchased forests except under approval by forest department and under registered working schemes.
The order, however, stated that to facilitate legalized operation within the already purchased forest areas by the contractors, copes of sales deeds have been forwarded to the department for taking up necessary actions as per requirement at the earliest and for which the department had assured to expedite the process.
Therefore, NTTU contractors have been asked to co-ordinate accordingly.
The order also stated that depending on the validity of sale deed and formulation of forest operational schemes over the areas, a time limit of 3-5 years maximum w.e.f approval by forest department would be allowed for operation of the purchased forest areas and thereafter no extension would be granted.
Further, Peren CSOs have been asked to undertake steps to restrain landowners against any fresh sale/lease of forest area under the district henceforth.
Meanwhile, NTTU has acknowledged the state government for fulfilling their demands and solving the impasse between the two parties. The union also acknowledged the support and cooperation of all the timber traders, NGOs and well-wishers during its agitation. The union has expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to the general public of Peren district during the agitation.
NTTU has sought cooperation from the Peren public and timber traders to work together in the future.


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