by Tahir Bhat
SRINAGAR: The loot of green gold at Uri area in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district is going on unabated with authorities turning a blind eye towards the issue.
Locals said that the timber smugglers chop off green trees in broad daylight and ferry them for sale in nearby villages.
Reliable sources told Kashmir Life that the smuggling of timber continues unabated in many villages of Uri town, and there are reports of trees being continuously axed without any hindrance in compartment numbers’ 68, 69, 70, 71 72 ,67, 14 16 18 , 41, 42, 59, 60, 73 and 77.
“The forest officials are fully aware about the chopping of trees. But, they have turned a blind eye towards the issue,” locals said. “If the axing continues with this pace, we won’t see forest cover in the area in the near future.”
The Divisional Forest Officer JV Division Baramulla Parvez Ahmad Wani told Kashmir Life that the department is continuously carrying raids against the smugglers and the night patrolling has been intensified in the area to contain forest smuggling.
He assured that the appropriate actions will be taken against them.
He said as many as five cases have been registered so for, while 12 culprits were booked during COVID-19 lockdown.