SHILLONG, Jan 19: The Jaintia Youth Federation (JYF) has alleged that its findings have revealed Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) of having a hand in encouraging indiscriminate felling of trees for making charcoal and smuggling of timber in different parts of Jaintia Hills especially in Thadlaskein Block and Elaka Lakadong.
Publicity Secretary of the JYF Central Body, P P Lyngdoh said that the organization had collected information that some 10 – 15 vehicles carrying charcoal pass through NH-44 every night and allegedly pay an amount ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 1000 so as to gain an exit and to trade the charcoal to other parts of the state, especially Shillong.
The federation further alleged that JHADC has permitted many charcoal traders to pass through and told them to cover their loads with a tarpaulin so as to hide them from others.
The JYF said that this has happened many times when loaders went to the District Council or the State Forest Department and beg to let them finish their ‘old stock’. Meanwhile the ‘old stock’ never seems to end, it added.
“JHADC has violated the Forest Conservation Act 1980, while at the same time earned a lot of black money from its Forest branch,” claimed Lyngdoh.