Palamu Tiger Reserve-ECR’s Dhanbad Division lock horns over Timber Smuggling

Dhanbad Jn (DHN) / Keckhi (KCKI):  The DFO Core of Palamu Tiger Reserve Premjit Anand has urged the Divisional Railway Manager Dhanbad to screw its railway officials who are aiding in the smuggling of timber by various passenger trains here.

Anand said logs of wood cut from trees in PTR are transported by trains. The wood is hooked in a bundle form in the iron rod of the bogies’ window. The blatant sight of timber smuggling by train remains so unseen by the railways is something most bizarre and unbelievable. Anand wants a check on it.

On the other hand a Railway official begging anonymity said the PTR officials first get stop felling of trees there in their tiger reserve. The railway official said, “None of the railway gangmen goes there in the Tiger Reserve to fell any tree. Felling is on there. The felled tree is shipped by train. So, first stop felling and this train shipping will automatically come to a halt.” Premjit Anand has conducted raids at trains at Kechki railway station here more than any ticket checking staff has ever done the checking of ticket.

Anand said, “We do not say that railways have not cooperated with us. They had on our request detained passenger train even for 7 to 8 minutes when the halt time is just 2 minutes. What I want to say to the railways is that it should stop allowing passengers to travel with their logs of illicit timber. Passengers travel with slippers of timber, firewood be asked to explain as to from where they have got this timber.”

Passenger trains are the safest mode of smuggling of timber as it comes without a booking fee of the railways. Again on being seized by PTR none came as its claimant. So a case is made out against unknown person. All these give a kind of relief to the smugglers of timber. Apart from Kechki railway station Chhipadohar is another railway station from where comes PTR’s illicit timber by train.