FPF reports massive green felling in Bhaderwah forests

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Saluthes of Forest Protection Force (FPF) who were on a marking duty,have reported massive green felling and large scale smuggling in Chiralla Range of Bhadarwah Forest Division. FPF has submitted a detailed report,regarding green felling of dozens of cedar trees and smuggling of timber from Chiralla Range to Divisional Forest Officer(DFO) Bhadarwah along with photographs and evidences pointing towards the involvement of beat guard, helper and other forest officials posted in the said range.
“While on an inspection duty, fresh illegal green felling was traced in compartment 21 of Chirallah range. On inquiry,it was found that the damage has been done by some Smugglers in connivance with Forest staff posted there and the practice is going on unhindered since long and beat guards are brazenly involved in the smuggling,” said Inspector FPF Doda Satish Manhas.
“It is evident from the stumps ,green tops and branches found on the spot that the demage is fresh but surprisingly no case has been registered as all stumps are clear and unmarked,” He added. “Surprisingly ,demage of the green cedars is not in the interior but along the road of Astaan Sharief. In this regard, a detail report has been submitted to Deputy Director FPF Doda and DFO Bhadarwah along with photographs for expeditious action against the guilty forest officials,” Manhas informed. Once famous for its lush green and dense coniferous forests, Chiralla Range of Bhadarwah Forest Division is located at a height of 6000 feet from see level but illegal deforestation by timber Mafia is fast depleting the forest cover. The environment activists have time and again flayed the authorities for in action, accusing them of conniving with the timber smugglers. they express serious concern over the large scale and unabated green felling, Smuggling and forest encroachments especially in Chiralla Range. “Illegal felling of green Cedar and encroachments on Forest land in compartment 1 to 21 is going on at an alarming pace without any check. We have raised our concerns several times and also informed not only the local staff but also the higher authorities of Forest Deptt time to time about the illegal forest activities going on in our area, but they seem to least bothered. This clearly indicates that they are hand-in-glove with the timber Mafia and encroachers ,” alleged an enviournmentlist and Sarpanch Ghosti-Chirallah, Fazal Alam Wani. Demanding a blanket ban on departmental extraction apart from an inquiry into the green felling by Vigilance Deptt, the activist call for urgent action. This correspondent tried to contact DFO Bhaderwah TB Singh at a dozen times for his version, but he didn’t picked up the call.

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