Monday, October 3, 2022

NSU announces ‘blanket ban’ on illegal timber operation, hunting

Sets June 30 deadline for village authority, loggers to end illegal activities

Nkio Students’ Union (NSU) has announced a “blanket ban” on illegal timber operations and hunting of wildlife, especially for commercial purpose, within its territorial jurisdiction and set a deadline of June 30, 2022 for village authority and loggers to end all illegal activities in this regard.
Pursuance to its memorandum to Peren divisional forest officer (DFO) on May 19 this year and the DFO’s subsequent reply on May 28, the union in a recent meeting resolved to strictly prohibit the illegal extraction of timber, which had been practised for long within its territory.
According to NSU, the DFO in his reply had explicitly stated that there was no record of any person seeking permission for installation of sawmill nor at no point of time did it issue permit to anyone and that there was no provision in Nagaland Tree Felling Regulation, 2017 for setting up a sawmill in the name of a tree farm.
Further, he had replied that there was no valid working scheme in operation at Nkio village, while the one old working scheme in the name Old Nkio Working Scheme that was operational till 2018 had expired and no further extension had been issued from this office.
Also, there was no valid tree farm in Nkio jurisdiction at present and the only tree farm that was registered in 2019 in the name of Cheulak had expired and no further extension of tree farm nor permission for felling was given after that.
“The present status of the tree farm under Nkio village jurisdiction is nil and an update of the tree farm for verification and mapping is done. There is no question of tree harvesting to be done in Nkio village as there is no tree farm in existence since 2019-20,” the DFO had explicitly clarified.
Therefore, in light of the aforementioned facts provided by the Forest Department, NSU said it was clear that every timber operation carried out under Nkio jurisdiction was undisputedly illegal. It appealed to all illegal timber operators to abstain from playing underhand activities by establishing or sending man force (labourers), animal draughts, heavy types of machinery like heavy-duty lorry, excavators, saw machines, etc, to Nkio to continue interdict activities and robe the invaluable natural resources.
As the authority concerned had provided the clarification, the union declared that it would stand unwaveringly to ensure that no illegal activities were carried out at Nkio.
For many years, because of the ignorance of village authority and laxity of the department concerned in discharging their responsibilities and duties, NSU alleged that the invaluable forest cover and natural vegetation had been disfigured and destroyed enormously, which could not be compensated in any way.
The union thus declared that it would not allow even a single naturally-grown tree to be felled illegally any further. Further, in the interest of rejuvenating the forest, it said it would not allow implementation of any form of approval by the department, village council or even the State government to fell trees at Nkio at any cost.
NSU warned that if any individual or group continued to ignore its caution despite knowing the legal facts, then this would tantamount to promoting illegal activities and the person/group concerned would be held equally responsible for any mishap that might occur.
It also asked the village authority and loggers to initiate a complete eviction drive against all prevailing illegally established structures – man force (labourers), animal draughts, heavy types of machinery such as heavy-duty lorries, excavators, chainsaw machines and sawmill from Nkio on or before the “last day” of June 2022. Failing which, it warned of takings its own course of action for which it would not be held responsible for any loss of life or property.
The union further warned that any individual or group going against its resolution would be legally proceeded against as per law. This was stated in a press release.