Timber smuggling rife at Nepal-India border in Banke

- Post Report, Nepalgunj

Jan 14, 2017-

Timber smugglers have been targeting community forests near Nepal-India border in Banke district in recent days, forest officials say. The District Forest Office has seized 150 cu ft of timber in recent weeks. 

Assistant Forest Officer Madan Chaudhary said illegal felling of trees was 

particularly high in community forests near India border, including at Hirminiya and Bijapur areas. 

He added timber smugglers were also found transporting illegally obtained timber 

logs from bordering Indian forests to places like Nepalgunj and Kohalpur using feeder roads during nights.

The forest authority seized 358 cu ft of timber from different parts of the district in the first six months of the current fiscal year; 118 people were arrested. Nearly 745 cu ft of illegal timber logs were confiscated and 39 people were arrested in the previous fiscal year.

District Forest Officer Pushpa Raj Bartaula said combating organised trafficking of illegal wood has become an immense challenge as the office is understaffed. 

The office has 53 positions vacant for a long time. As a result, the office is heavily reliant on police to stop illegal logging and wood smuggling.

Published: 14-01-2017 08:17

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