Timber smuggling rife in forests of Chure RangeTimber smuggling is increasing in the forests of the Chure Range in Sarlahi district.
Timber smuggling is increasing in the forests of the Chure Range in Sarlahi district. According to locals, numerous trees in Kalinjor, Parwanipur, Narayankhola and Pattharkot of Chure area are being cut down without the permission from the forest officials. Smugglers are targeting Green Sal, Khayar and Saj, among other trees, locals say.
In the absence of police and forest officials, timber smuggling is rampant in the Chure area and mostly goes under the radar. A few days ago, a huge cache of illegal logs was seized at Setibheri in Lalbandi Municipality-11 (Chure settlement). Acting on a tip off, police seized logs worth Rs 700,000 loaded onto three separate tractors.
Smugglers find a thriving demand for timber in the Indian markets, and exercise no restraint in felling trees and driving away with them in the dead of the night.
“Some smugglers are cutting down trees in broad daylight,” said a local, preferring anonymity. “The concerned authority, local unit and ward office are just mute spectators to the ongoing timber smuggling.”
Smugglers cut down green trees and store them in nearby villages before transporting them across the border. A decade ago, illegal logs worth millions were seized in the Chure area. At that time, the Ministry of Forest had suspended seven personnel including the then District Forest Chief for their involvement in the incident.
Madhav Prasad Dev, chief of the Division Forest Office, said the efforts of the forest office alone cannot stop timber smuggling in the region.
“We haven’t been able to conduct frequent patrols due to the shortage of human resources,” said Dev, “All the concerned authorities need to collaborate to put an end to timber smuggling.