Bokajan, March 17: At a time when environment and forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma claimed that the state government has closed all illegal stone crushers across the state, a big racket of stone smugglers are ruling the roost in Golaghat district along Assam-Nagaland border. The smugglers have created artificial shortage of stone chips doubled the price of this important building material in the area.
This inter-state racket is using the Bokajan railway yard to smuggle tonnes of crushed stone chips to Tripura using fake transit passes and documents. The role of the station master in this alleged syndicate is also in question following seizure of 16 overloaded, undocumented tipper trucks from the station yard on late Friday evening.
It is alleged that the smugglers have been transporting 1,000 CM crushed stone chips in a single freight against 480 CM Transit Pass in connivance with the station master since long. The forest department officials are also allegedly hand in glove with the racket causing huge loss to government exchequer.
The incident came to light after leaders of local AASU unit intercepted 16 overloaded tipper trucks transporting stone chips at the station’s entrance. Many of the truckers couldn’t produce any valid document to transport the crushed stone chips.
The stones are extracted illegally from the Doyang River in Sarupathar in Golaghat district along Assam-Nagaland border. Over the years, many stone crusher units have been come up in the area considering the availability of raw materials there.
Earlier, the racket was ferrying stone chips from the Barpathar and Naojan railway station yard in Golaghat district. But after massive protest by locals and students of the area they shifted to Bokajan in Karbi Anglong district.