Booming illegal trade along the inter-state boundary

The seizure of illegal timber worth approximately Rs 50 lakhs in Lower Dibang Valley district, followed by arrest of several people, including the kingpin of the crime, has exposed the booming illegal trade along the inter-state boundary.
The Lower Dibang Valley police deserve appreciation for rigorously pursuing the matter leading to the arrest of the kingpin.
Shockingly, the police recovered a .32 bore pistol with 13 live rounds from one Raju Thakuria, aka Raju Medhi, who owns a timber depot in Dhola (Assam) and who is the kingpin of the timber trade in the area.
His arrest is expected to open a can of worms as police believe more people, including highly influential people of the state, are involved in illegal timber trade.
The Roing unit police should sincerely investigate the matter.
This also brings to the notice the issue of illegal timber trade going on in the Assam-Arunachal inter-state boundary.
Even in Pakke-Kessang district, the allegation of illegal trading of timber has surfaced from the area located near the Assam boundary. Such allegations have even come from districts like Namsai.
Such allegations raise a serious question mark over the efficiency of the forest department since it is the custodian of forest resources. The flourishing illegal timber trade shows that the forest department is failing to perform its duty.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who also holds the portfolio of the environment and forest department, should immediately revamp the department.
There should also be better coordination between the forest department and local police for effective patrolling to stop the illegal timber trade.