Green gold loot unabated in Verinag
UMER IQBAL WANI
Verinag, Mar 16: The loot of green gold at Verinag area in South Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district is going on unabated with authorities turning blind eye towards the issue.
According to the locals, the timber smugglers chop off green trees in broad daylight and ferry them for sale in nearby villages.
“The forest cover is fast disappearing in the area,” the residents said.
These smugglers ferry the timber on horse backs and in vehicles, cross several checkpoints without any inhibition and sell the timber at different parts of the Valley. “The timber smugglers are having a field day here and not a single day passes by when trees are not chopped off,” the Verinag residents said.
According to the residents, the forest loot is going on allegedly in connivance with some officials. “The forest officials are fully aware about the chopping of trees. But, they have turned blind eye towards the issue,” the residents said.
“All this is happening under the nose of the Forest department. Even some foresters and forest guards have become the part of smuggling process,” the residents alleged.
”In the coming years, we won’t see forest cover in the area if immediate measures are not taken,” laments the residents.
When contacted, the forest officials at Verinag said, “The smuggling of timber used to happen in the past, but now we have been able to stop it to a large extent.”
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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