A joint team of the Forest department and the Forest Protection Force (FPF) recovered and seized about 75 cft of illicit timber from Najwan forest in Kangan.
Sources said nine logs of Deodar were illegally cut by the smugglers from Compartment No 2 and 3 of Najwan belt of Sindh Forest Range here.
An official said, acting on a tip off, FPF and the officials of the Forest department from Control Room Ganderbal jointly carried out searches in Compartment No 2 and 3 in NajwanAkhal forests and seized 75 cfts of illicit timber.
In recent times, it is the fourth such instance when the Forest department managed to seize illicit timber in Kangan area.
The sources said that the forests in Ganderbal district continue to face the threat from the smugglers who are carrying out this illegal practice.
Locals alleged that the Forest department had failed to check and stop smuggling in Ganderbal district.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sindh Forest Division, Ganderbal, Owais Mir said, “A joint team of the Forest department and FPF has been constituted to keep a vigil on the forests and act immediately on receiving reports about smuggling of timber.”
He said that during the past six months, over 14 FIRs had been registered under the Forest Act and action taken against the miscreants involved in illegal felling of trees.
Mir said the field staff had been directed to be alert and mobilise all sources to stop the illegal felling of trees by the smugglers.
He said they had submitted a report to the higher authorities regarding the alertness and action taken against the smugglers in Ganderbal district.
Meanwhile, taking cognizance of a news report about the loot of green gold in Ganderbal by the smugglers during the pandemic that appeared in Greater Kashmir a few days back, the Forest department has sought a report from the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sindh Forest Division, Ganderbal.
Official sources said that a day after Greater Kashmir carried a story about the illegal felling of trees in several areas of the forest range of Sindh and Manasbal in Ganderbal during the past few months, the department sought a report from the officials in Ganderbal in this regard and the action taken by them.