Deforestation up in Kavre in the name of quake victimsTimber smugglers are cutting down trees in forests at Panchkhal and Mahadevsthan in Kavre district on the pretext of distributing logs to the earthquake-displaced people for building homes.
Timber smugglers are cutting down trees in forests at Panchkhal and Mahadevsthan in Kavre district on the pretext of distributing logs to the earthquake-displaced people for building homes.
District Forest Officer Prem Khanal said they have heightened the monitoring of forests after discovering that illegal loggers were stripping down forests under community protection.
“We have found timber smugglers felling trees in the name of providing logs to the quake-displaced people,” he said.
The police and the officials from the District Forest Office (DFO) have seized around 1,000 cubic feet of wood as of December this year. Recently, police had arrested Tej Prasad Neupane of Umadevi Wood Factory in Panchkhal Municipality with 521 Sal logs.
Superintendent of Police Sahakul Thapa said they have sealed two sawmills in Mahadevsthan after they were found involved in illegal logging in the district.
There are 45 sawmills and factories that produce wooden materials in the district.
Following the 2015 earthquakes, illegal logging and smuggling of timber have increased significantly, Khanal said.
“In many places, locals have been found working together with timber smuggling and cutting down more trees than the office has permitted,” he said.
Khanal said 120,000 cu ft of timber will be enough for all quake-hit families in Kavre.