Timber smuggling on rise in ParsaTimber smuggling has gone unchecked as several police stations in Parsa villages near Nepal-India border are relocated due to recent violent Tarai protests.
Timber smuggling has gone unchecked as several police stations in Parsa villages near Nepal-India border are relocated due to recent violent Tarai protests.
Smugglers have been cutting down trees from national forests and exporting them to India at night.
According to the District Police Office, police stations in southern villages have merged with Area Police Offices and that smugglers are supplying timber illegally to India on bicycle.
Pramod Yadav of Janakitola said there are security personnel in border areas to stop smugglers who are now busy supplying sands and betel to India. Such illegal activities are on the rise in Bhiswa and Budagai areas as well. “We cannot go for regular patrolling due to insecurity,” said a security official, adding that locals might blame them for creating violence if they try to stop smuggling.
As scores of people are involved in cutting down green tress for firewood, local furniture makers and mills are storing timber in a large scale. Om Prakash Chaudhary of Sedhawa said timber smuggling is on the rise in Sedhawa, Sankharsariaya, Paterbasugauli, Sonbarsha, Gadi and Madhuban Mathbal areas which are connected to national forests. “Smugglers are cutting down green tress and are storing them in nearby villages,” he said, adding that such timber is supplied to India at night. Likewise, Ramdev Chaudhary of Sadhewa said unemployed youths who returned to their villages after participating in indefinite protests are also involved in felling trees.
Smugglers are supplying Saal and Satisaal logs from national forests. Traders said smugglers sell the timber at exorbitant price in India. Sources said logs ready for smuggling can be seen in local settlement from 9pm-11pm and 3am-4am.
Meanwhile, forest officials deployed to patrol the forest areas seized some timber smugglers but released them without initiating legal action. On Monday, Area Forest Office in Basantapur seized 10 bicycles loaded with Saal timber at Sankharsariaya-9 but the smugglers were released after an hour, a source said.