PEREN: A crucial meeting in Nagaland's Peren district headquarters on Saturday sorted out the growing difference between the administration and the timber traders. He is none other than TR Zeliang who took the lead to resolve the issue.
The silver lining surfaced at the meeting presided over by the DAN chairman attended by district planning and development board officials, Zeliangrong Baudi, Zeliang Kuki Public Organisation, Peren District Timber Union, NGOs and Public leaders.
In his speech Zeliang said, “Compromise is possible only when we create the space to understand each other” maintaining that “genuine grievances of the public” must be taken into consideration in all.
Zeliang maintained, “Green Coverage is being reduced because of rampant logging whereas our target must be on maintaining ecological balance, allowing people to live with sufficient water and fresh air for a healthy life.”
The DAN chief asked the forest department to identify illegal timbers coming from Manipur, Assam and Ntangki National Park via Peren District. Out of the 11 districts Peren tops the chart in timber trade.
He, however, lamented that the contractors ‘could not make use of the allotted time period and had instead opted for confrontation with the authorities and the public.’
With this positive development, the time period for plying stranded timber was extended till May 31 under the condition that the timber traders would commence immediate repair of roads.
Around 45 trucks at Athibung-Khelma area and 8 at Peren-Mpai area reported to be stranded due to the bandh were allowed to pass following the assurance of Timber Contractors to ‘start repairing the road within 7 days time’ under the direct supervision of PWD(R&B).
The Nagaland Timber Traders Union (NTTU) on Saturday, through the local dailies had called for an indefinite blockade on movement of vehicles in Peren commencing on Monday, if the authorities failed to revoke January 11 notification which had prohibited movements of trucks carrying timber in Peren District after April 30.
Organisations like the Zeliangrong Baudi, Zeliang Kuki Public Organisation, Peren Town Youth organisation had expressed strong resentment on logging in Peren which they opined, had minimised the lifespan of newly constructed roads and had damaged several stretch of roads in interior parts of Peren rendering the roads unmotorable in areas like Nsong, Ngam, Athibung, Khelma and Ikiesingram etc.