Seized timber left to decay

- BECHU GAUD, Parasi

Jul 1, 2014-

A large quantity of timber seized by police and handed over to the court is left to decay, thanks to ineffective coordination between the District Court and District Forest Office (DFO).

Officials at the DFO on March 17, 2011 arrested Kanhaiya Tharu of Makar-4 in Nawalparasi along with 372 cubic feet of timber. Similarly, Basanta Puri of Kawasoti-5 was arrested with 116 cubic feet of timber the following year. However, the timber is about to decay as the court verdict is yet come due to the lengthy procedure involved.

According to the DFO, approximately 6,985 cubic feet of timber is left to decay on the court and DFO premises. The timber can be sold at for Rs 7 million as per the government rate while it can generate revenue as much as Rs 25 million if sold in market. Meanwhile, District Forest Officer Dhananjaya Poudel said their hands were tied as they could not auction off the timber without the court’s permission. “We will immediately auction the timber if we receive the court’s order,” Poudel said, adding that they can also distribute the timber to consumers by levying certain charge. The DFO, however, has not even sold 472 cubic feet of timber for which it does not need any other authorities’ permission.

The court’s Registrar Krishna Prasad Nepal, meanwhile, said they have not received request to auction off the timber. “The concerned authorities should take the initiative and file a request for auction,” he said, stating that a legal provision allows auctioning off such items and decide on the concerned case keeping cash as collateral.

Published: 02-07-2014 08:48

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