Timber Impasse: Nagaland govt sets modalities to resolve issue

Dimapur, June 29 (MExN): The Government of Nagaland has stipulated six modalities to resolve the impasse between the civil society organisations (CSOs) under Peren district and the Nagaland Timber Traders Union (NTTU).

An order to this effect was issued by Commissioner Rovilatuo Mor on June 23 taking into consideration the demands of the Peren CSOs with regard to the environmental impact of rampant deforestation and the huge investments already made by the NTTU in purchasing forest areas for logging operations.

As per the modalities, during the interim process of negotiation, appeals made to the CSOs to release the seized logs had been complied with and the same were released to the Peren DFO. “The DFO will dispose the seized logs in accordance to the prescribed formalities,” it said.

It said that the already felled trees and stock would be accounted for and marked for transit by the Forest Department as per norms. However, lifting of the same can be done by the contractors only during the operational season prescribed in the standing order issued by the Peren DC.

On the issue of processing logs in Peren district, the order stated that the matter would be taken up ‘as and when mills with HPC approval and valid licenses are installed.’

Among others, the order notified that no fresh cutting or felling of trees would be allowed in the purchased forests except under Working Schemes, Tree Farming or isolated tree felling schemes approved and registered by the Forest Department. “To facilitate legalized operation within the already purchased forest areas by the contractors, copies of sales deeds have been compiled and forwarded to the Department for taking up necessary actions as per requirement at the earliest,” it said. Stating that the department has assured to expedite the process, it directed the NTTU contractors to coordinate accordingly.

For the forest areas that are already purchased, it said operations would allowed depending on the validity of sales deed and formulation of forest operational schemes over the areas, with a time limit of maximum 3-5 years with effect from approval by the Forest Department. No extension will be granted thereafter, it added.

While calling for strict compliance, it also directed the Peren CSOs to undertake steps and restrain landowners against any fresh sale or lease of forest areas under the district, henceforth.