Illegal logging on the rise in Tarahara forests

Bibek Bibas Regmi 02 Mar 2024
Illegal logging on the rise in Tarahara forests

ITAHARI: Timber is being smuggled in a large scale from community and national forests in Tarahara of Charkoshi Jhadi along the Itahari-Dharan Road in Sunsari.

According to officials of the Hansposa Community Forest Users’ Group, they had seen a Sakhuwa tree uprooted and leaning on another tree a few weeks ago. When a team of the users’ group reached the forest for numbering purposes, they found the tree missing.

Mahendra Giri, chairman of the Hansposa Community Forest Users’ Group, said they wrote to the Sub-Division Forest Office, Tarahara, to investigate the missing tree. According to Giri, smugglers had managed to cut a log measuring 28 feet in length and having a circumference of 12 feet from the fallen tree.

“A team of the community forest user group and sub-division forest office found the log hidden in Brahmapur Community Forest in Itahari-19. The long may have been smuggled from Hansposa using an earthmover and tractor,” Giri said. “We have handed over the log to the sub-division forest office for further investigation.”

According to Giri, the market value of the log is about one million rupees. The log had been cut into four small logs.

A total of 18 logs were found at Brahmapur Community Forest. According to Dinesh Prasad Yadav, a forest officer at the Sub-division Forest Office, Tarahara, 11 were Sakhuwa logs, and the remaining seven logs were of inferior quality. Seven of the Sakhuwa logs were smuggled from different national forests.

Although timber smuggling has been on the rise in recent years, the sub-division forest office has no record of timber smuggled out from the community and national forests under its jurisdiction.

When Himal Press questioned whether a racket is involved in timber smuggling, forest officer Yadav said everything will be known after the investigation is completed.

Although the sub-division office needs to appoint an investigating officer to investigate smuggling, no such officer has been named so far.

Members of the Hansposa Communist Forest Users Group have been demanding an in-depth investigation into timber smuggling. “Smuggling of this scale is not possible without the involvement of officials of the forest office,” they say.

Published On: 02 Mar 2024


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