SRINAGAR: In a sorry state of affairs, the State Forest Cooperation (SFC) has failed to collect the timber that fell due to the heavy snowfall in Feb, 2017. Sources said that there is huge loss of timber mostly the green trees that remained unattended after consecutive snowfall for a week this year.
Sources added that the range offices of Ganderbal Sindh Range Kangan and Sindh Range Manasbal jointly carried a survey to estimate the loss of timber which was found around two crore.
Sources said that the Deodar, Kauri, Badul etc along with other green trees was mostly damage adding that taking undue advantage the SFC officers who are in nexus with timber smugglers, resulted in looting of green gold in Ganderbal forest division.
Sources said that the SFC officials deliberately left timber lying in the forest for smugglers to earn hefty amount. Reports said that the smugglers have caused extensive damage to the nearby forests in the villages as well.
“They smuggle this green gold from these forest as nobody from the forest department is keeping watch on the forest areas where timber is lying and giving them free hand to steal this green gold”, sources said.
Local residents living near these forests alleged a nexus between the smugglers and SFC officials has helped the smugglers to chop off the trees in the area.
While talking to Press Trust of Kashmir, MoS Zahoor Mir said that “I will raise this issue before the officials and action will be taken very soon”. He also said that nobody will be allowed to take this timber as it is a state’s property. We will take a prompt action against this matter”.
Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh ensures tough action against the timber smugglers across the Kashmir. There are number of complaints about increasing timber smuggling in the said area and chopping of green trees, however the authorities seem in deep slumber.