Stand-off between Palamu Tiver Reserve and Dhanbad Division in the offing

Barwadih Jn (BRWD) / Daltonganj (DTO): A standoff between the officials of the Palamu Tiger Reserve and the Railways on the Coal India chord section of Dhanbad Railway Division in East Central Railway appears inevitable, on the issue of smuggling of illegal timber, which is said to shipped regularly by passenger trains here.

The PTR officials have been making repeated raids on passenger trains and have been seizing illegal timber. According to the DFO core of the PTR Premjit Anand a letter was sent to Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Dhanbad quite recently and his help and cooperation was sought in restricting, containing and stopping smuggling of illegal timber by trains here.

Anand said this too appears to have gone amiss with the railways. However on Sunday the episode further deepened the chasm between the PTR and the railways.

According to the DFO Core, illegal timber was loaded in a night train when the train was in the yard itself at Barwadih Railway Junction. This timber was of a truck which was seized at night.

The PTR official said ‘how is this possible that a train is in yard and has not been placed on the track of the platform from where the illegal timber was loaded in the train?’

The DFO Core added ‘It leaves hardly any room not to disbelieve that there are some elements in the railway set up that are conniving with the smugglers of timber and thus getting an access to train lying even in yard to load the illegal timber’. The Sunday episode proved it as he and his officials raided a passenger train around 2 at night on Sunday.

Sources said there is a provision of seizing the vehicle with which the timber is being smuggled. Had it been a lorry or truck it would have been seized. But here it is train. It too can be seized said the DFO Core but hastened to add since it is the life line of transportation of the commoners such an extreme step is kept far in back till the situation becomes not so desperate so as to force the PTR officials to do this unpopular work of seizure of the train.

The railway officials are tight lipped on this issue as none were any ready to give comment. One just said ‘ Stop illegal felling of tree in your PTR and then ask us’.