Illegal Timber Trade Booms in Bandipora, Smugglers Exploit Loopholes

DFO Asserts Authority, No Tolerance for Bandipora’s Forest Destruction

DFO Asserts Authority, No Tolerance for Bandipora’s Forest Destruction

Suhail Rather

Bandipora, May 15 (KNS): The locals of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Wednesday reported that large-scale illegal logging is ongoing in the forests, despite efforts to stop it.

Residents informed News Agency Kashmir News Service (KNS) that the rampant cutting of forest trees in the Arin, Dardpora, and Mulkihama ranges of the Bandipora forest range is causing severe environmental damage.

They stated that smugglers are exploiting the cover of darkness to carry out their illicit activities, undeterred by government crackdowns.

The locals also accused a forest mafia, allegedly in collusion with forest department personnel, of looting the forests while those in power turn a blind eye. They claimed that some forest employees are even benefiting from the illegal profits generated by these activities.

Many trees have been felled in parts of the Bandipora forests. To hide the stumps of the cut trees, smugglers set them on fire, increasing the risk of forest fires in those areas.

When contacted, the Divisional Forest Officer, said a team will be formed to investigate the matter thoroughly and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

The officer confirmed that the issue had been brought to his attention and assured that those involved would face legal consequences. (KNS) 

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