|S Tahir-ul Haq|
Early Times Report
BARAMULLA, June 17: The Forest department seized huge quantity of illicit timber on Sunday night in Rafiabad area of this north Kashmir district.
Sources said a naka was laid down at Ferozpora-Achabal link road following inputs. At about 1 am, a tipper with bearing registration no: JK02R-1756 was seized by the Forest Protection Force (FPF) Gamma, unit K-07 Baramulla. "The driver of the tipper and his associates managed to escape from the spot under the grab of darkness; however the loaded timber vehicle was seized and brought to the headquarter, Gamma Unit, Mazbaugh Tapper," the sources said.
They said the tipper was loaded with Deodar and other quality of sawn green timber, around of 20 logs, approximately measuring 79.56Cfts. A case has been registered against the driver for illegal smuggling of timber, sources added.
They said that this is not the first time when timber was smuggled in the area, but the question is who is allowing the timber smugglers to operate freely in the district. Earlier in the month of May, the forest department had seized 100 ft of illegal timber from a bandsaw in Lolab area of Kupwara district, said sources. If sources are to be believed, without the consent of some people of the Forest department timber cannot be smuggled. "Governor Satiya Pal Malik-led administration should look into the matter," the sources said. "Even though the Government of India (GoI) and state government is spending huge sum of money on conservation of forests, the timber smuggling is going unabated. It has to be stopped."