Forest officials seize two 'illegal' planer machines at Bhadarwah

Acting tough against the forest offenders, sleuths of Bhaderwah Forest Division seized two “illegal” planer machines here on Monday.

Acting on a tip off about the use of planer machines being operated illegally to manufacture timber products used in construction works, a team of forest officials headed by Range Officer Shafqat Khakan Malik under the supervision of DFO Bhadarwah Chander Shekhar, raided two premises at village Sungli, 3km from Bhadarwah town, and seized two planer machines.

“We have been getting information for some time that planer machines have been installed illegally and are being used to manufacture building material including doors, windows on large scale from green timber extracted from the adjoining forests,” said Shafqat Khakan Malik, Range Officer Neeru Range.

“Today, we raided two premises belonging to Rafiq Butt and Basharat Hussain and seized two planer machines installed at their respective residential houses in Sungli village,” Officer added saying that legal action will be initiated against the offenders.

It is notable to mention here that while foiling two major attempts of inter-state smugglers to illegally transport endangered medicinal herb, Zakhm-e-hayat (Bergenia ciliata), forest officials seized huge consignment of the rare herb on interstate border at Bhadarwah in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district during last fortnight.

According to reports, Forest officials seized 500 kg of Zakhm-e-hayat (Bergenia ciliata) worth Rs 3.50 lakh at Padri meadow on inter-state Bhadarwah-Chamba Road on  June 30 and 650 kg of Zakhm-e-hayat worth Rs 5.50 lakh along inter-state Bhadarwah-Chamba Road on July 10, which according to officials was being transported to the Chamba town of Himachal Pradesh.