KL Report


North Kashmiri’s Kupwara district is witnessing ruthless deforestation as timber mafias are active in cutting prized Deodar and Kail trees in the forests.  Locals alleged that the officials of the Forest Department are in close nexus with the smugglers.

Locals told KNS that heavy damage is caused by the smugglers to the green treasure in forest range Kamraj including compartment number 17, 18, 19, 21,25, etc. “The cutting of trees from the forests is not only ruining the natural beauty of the famous tourist destinations of the District but also badly affecting the environment,” they said.

“There is no check to the same by the authorities as the forest officials are in close nexus with smugglers,” they claimed

They revealed that officials of forest department including Range Officer, Forester, and some Forest Guards of Sogam and Kamraj are hand-in—glow with smugglers thereby facilitating the smugglers to devastate the forests of these compartments.

The locals of the area have demanded that the concerned Minister should immediately take steps to stop the illegal practice of felling trees.

However, District Forest Officer (DFO), Mohd Ayuab Sheikh when contacted, claimed that illegal cutting of trees has ended in the area. “The department should be informed if someone is damaging the natural environment,” he said adding that they will take stern action against those found involved in illegally felling of trees in the area. Kupwara has richest forests in valley about 74% and all efforts are being made by our staff to protect it. Some domestic damage does occur which are dealt strictly under law.



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