Illegal tree-felling attracts condemnation

[ Pisi Zauing ]
MIAO, Feb 28: A well-known village head of Namphai-II in Changlang district has been found guilty of felling valuable teak trees along the CHC road in the upper periphery of the township here with the intention of occupying the plot.
The act has attracted condemnation from all quarters.
The labourers who were felling the trees in broad daylight on Thursday, however, managed to flee the spot, sensing repercussion.
As the news of the illegal tree-felling spread across the township, volunteers of the Miao Singpho Ramma Hpung (MSRH) reached the spot. The forest department also swung into action to save the solitary teak plantation in the township.
All the felled logs were seized, but no arrest has been made so far. The seized logs are in the custody of the Namphai-I range forest officer.
Officials of the forest department, comprising Deputy Range Officer S Wangsa and Foresters Mitchi Dole and B Bangsia, have since fenced the area with barbed wire, after carrying out compensatory plantation in the plot with fresh saplings on Friday.
A few other individuals have also encroached on a large portion of the plantation and built commercial buildings. Despite public anger, their applications for land allotment were recommended without their having obtained ‘no objection’ certificates from the forest department.
“We strongly condemn such illegal activity, that too committed by a village head. It is the duty and responsibility of every resident of Miao to ensure that our township is protected from all evils. We demand protection of the teak plantation at all costs. Let us keep Miao clean, green and safe,” said MSRH secretary-general Gamseng Singpho.