The Meghalaya Clean and Green Organisation has flagged illegal transportation and supply of charcoal in the State and called for an inquiry from the district council.
According to the organisation there has been rampant and illegal transportation and supply of charcoal from Mawmaram Nongthliew to Mawlyndep, Umbir to Lad Umsaw, Dongki Ingding, Umpdem, Sohjarang, Zero point to Umsning, Umrit to Umling.
“There have also been confessions by the truck drivers that they would pay a sum of Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,500 from various check gates of the district council,” the organisation said in a complaint to the Chief Forest Officer (CFO) of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.
The organisation has also urged the office to conduct an inquiry and pass orders to stop the illegality to prevent further destruction of the forests.
It may be mentioned that the government had notified Meghalaya Charcoal (Control of production, Storage, Trade and Transit) Rules, 2008 to prevent illegal charcoal production and trade. As per rules, the charcoal producer and charcoal stockists should be registered with the office of DFO (Territorial).
Illegal charcoal making is violation of these rules and also Supreme Court order on ban on illegal felling of trees. Charcoal shall be produced only from wood obtained from legal sources like; trees felled under approved working plan and trees felled from registered private and government funded plantations. No person shall import or export the charcoal without permission from Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.
No charcoal shall be transported unless covered by transit pass issued by Forest officer. The transit pass for transport of charcoal shall be issued only on production of a certificate of origin or document in support that the charcoal has been produced from legal timber.
Any violation of these rules will attract punishment which includes imprisonment for a term which may extend up to 6 months or fine of Rs 500 or both.
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