Major Revelation: Timber Smugglers Linked to Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in Illegal Tree Cutting Case

Major Revelation: Timber Smugglers Linked to Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in Illegal Tree Cutting Case

In a significant disclosure, cases of illegal cutting of trees belonging to rare species like Deodar and Kail have come to light in the forest divisions of Kanasar in Chakrata and Tons Range in Purola. The preliminary investigation by the Forest Department has revealed that the timber smugglers have smuggled a large amount of illegally cut wood to neighboring states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The department has identified some culprits involved in the illegal activities, and arrests are expected soon. Some high-ranking officials might also face consequences.

In the Kanasar Range of Dehradun district, more than 3500 sleeper logs have been seized so far. Additionally, around 650 fine logs known as “chiran” have been found. Three mini saw machines have been seized, along with 21 H-2 cases being registered. The Forest Department has also marked certain key smugglers who were responsible for transporting the wood to other states. Communication has been initiated with the forest departments of the respective states to coordinate further investigation. The sensitive nature of the case has led the officials to remain discreet about further details.

According to departmental sources, in the area where protected tree species have been illegally cut, a rough road has been blocked due to a landslide, causing disruption for several days. If the road hadn’t been blocked, a significant portion of the timber would have been transported to other states by now. The timber seized so far may not necessarily be under the jurisdiction of the Forest Department. Just a few days ago, a joint team of police and forest officials intercepted a truck loaded with around 50-60 sleeper logs near the Yamuna Bridge area. It is said that the wood was being transported to Himachal Pradesh.

Regarding the Purola and Tons forest divisions in Uttarkashi district, a major inquiry is looming against high-ranking officials in connection with the felling of protected Deodar and Kail trees under the pretext of thinning operations. The forest ministry has conducted two rounds of investigation, and it’s rumored that even senior officials might be implicated. Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal has hinted at significant actions against those involved. He stated that there would be no leniency shown towards the officers implicated in the case. Strong actions are expected to be taken soon.

The matter of the illegal felling of protected tree species like Deodar and Kail in Purola and Tons forest divisions of Uttarkashi district and Chakrata forest division of Dehradun district has been brought to the attention of the central government. Environmentalist and founder of the Rakshasutra Movement, Suresh Bhai, has written a letter to the Director-General of Forests and the Special Secretary in the central government, C.P. Goel, detailing the entire situation.

In his letter, the environmentalist pointed out that illegal cutting of rare tree species in the catchment areas of the Tons River has been going on for a long time. In these forest divisions, hundreds of dried trees have been stamped for commercial exploitation by the Forest Department. However, the worrying fact is that the Forest Corporation and contractors associated with it are cutting down green trees. Photographs have also been attached as evidence. He has demanded a high-level investigation and strict action against the culprits.

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