Timber smuggling goes unabated in Sindh forest range

By Ishtiyaq Magray

Srinagar: Notwithstanding its tall claims on forest protection, the Forest departments have been unable to check the vandalisation of green-gold by timber smugglers in forest areas of Kangan tehsil, of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

According to the reports in absence of any checking and surveillance, the smugglers have been adopting a simple method to destroy the forest wealth in different forest ranges of Kangan tehsil.

Reliable sources told Kashmir Life that the smuggling of timber continues unabated in Chattergul, Sundribal, Dandwar, Barnbuk, Wangth, Thune and many other villages of district Ganderbal, and there are reports of trees being continuously chopped down without any hindrance in Chattergul area in compartment number 15, 16 and 17.

Residents of various peripheral villages in Ganderbal district have alleged that some vested interests, in connivance with the Forest officials have been looting the green gold without any hindrance.

“Due to the callous attitude of the forest department, the smugglers are roaming freely in the area and if the loot continues, the day is not far when these forests will disappear,” said a local.

“The Forests have been left unchecked by the government that has given a free run to smugglers,” he added.

As per the locals sources, the situation is not different in other areas of Kangan teshil also.

When contacted, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ganderbal, Shabir Ahmad Sheikh he said that the department is going to carry raids against the smugglers in near future and assured that the appropriate actions will be taken against the forest employees involved in it.”

“I will visit the area in coming days, raids will be launched against such timbre smugglers as well as the employees involved,” DFO said.

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