TURA, Dec 01: The Achik Youth Council (AYC) has raised an objection to the decision of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) to auction mature timber from its reserves in an effort to raise money.
The GHADC has been facing a severe financial crunch with salaries to employees are due for over 18 months. Recently the forest department of GHADC had published, in local dailies, their intention of timber sale.
The move however has received universal flak from all quarters of Garo Hills with most asking as to whether it was a sane move given the extent of illegal timber smuggling that the GHADC has not been able to control.
“This is ridiculous. You are now trying to make money from our forest reserves when you are unable to protect it. How can anyone even think of a move like this when everywhere illegal timber felling is rampant,” asked advisor to AYC, Dardy GC Marak.
Marak has also moved for the cancellation of transit permits being issued by the GHADC for the movement of timber.
“Most criminals are using these same TPs to ferry illegal timber. There has to be another way earn money to pay employees as this is an open invitation to spoil the fragile environment of Garo Hills,” he added.