Timber smugglers are entering Nawalparasi forest taking advantage of lockdownAs many as 65 trees were felled in the past few days in Nawalparasi (East), forest officials say.
Timber smugglers were found felling trees in several community forests in Nawalparasi (East) taking advantage of the lockdown, Division Forest Office in Kawasoti has said.
According to the forest office, as many as 65 trees (nearly 200 cubic feet) in Bulingtar and Gaidakot areas were chopped down by timber smugglers in the past couple of days.
On Saturday, the local people of Maddanda in Bulingtar Rural Municipality recovered 62 logs of Sal trees.
“As many as 37 trees, mostly Sal, were cut down in the forest of Maddanda,” said Chandra Bahadur Lungeli, a local.
The villagers immediately informed the forest office after they discovered the logs on a roadside. Officials believe that the trees were felled on Friday night.
The forest office has deployed a team led by a ranger to the site for investigation.
Maddanda is located on a hilly terrain around 35 km north from Kawasoti.
Timber smugglers have also felled 28 trees in a community forest in Aahale at ward No 17 of Gaidakot Municipality a few days ago.
“A team of forest officers and guards have been deployed to the area to investigate the matter,” Shiva Shrestha, information officer at the forest office, said.
According to Shrestha, timber smugglers are cutting down trees taking advantage of poor security situation and absence of people’s movement in forest areas amid the lockdown enforced to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier on March 26, a group of timber smugglers had attempted to cut down trees in Jyoti Community Forest in Gaidakot Municipality. But they fled when a local forest team reached the site.
The forest team recovered two logs, a motorcycle and two sawing tools left behind by the loggers.