Timbers worth about Tk 10 crore are being damaged at various range offices of Forest Department in Khagrachhari due to negligence of officials concerned and a High Court 'stay order' on inviting tender to sell them.

DIBRUGARH, Nov 12: Illegal cutting and smuggling of timber still continue in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts despite a Supreme Court ban on such activities.

R Haldorai | ENS
WATTLE and bluegum trees have been found to be felled in 100 acres in Ooty forest and smuggled.

KOKRAJHAR, Sept 29: In a major breakthrough, the Bodoland Forest Protection Force of the Forest Department under Kachugaon forest division and local NGOs including Green Forest Conservation and Green Leaf Society unearthed a major illegal timber business recently approximately worth Rs 1 crore in a raid at Jhalabila area under Parbhatjhora subdivision of Kokrajhar district.

One range officer and five guards of forest department sustained serious injuries on Sunday when some timber smugglers ran their vehicle over them in Shungli Bandy area of Teshil Oghi, Mansehra district. The forest department had deployed a team on Jabor Road near Shingle Bandy forest to restrict illegal cutting. According to police, the forest department team signaled a suspected vehicle to stop, but the driver of the vehicle laden with timber did not stop and ran it over the forest team.

The timber mafia in NWFP has wreaked havoc on the forest of Chitral by illegally felling green trees and smuggling them to other parts of the country. However, the government has failed to take action against the network despite initiating investigations through the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

B Ravichandran | Udhagamandalam MUDIMUND forest area near here appears to be the hotspot of timber mafia as the environmentalists allegeillegal felling of rare shola trees. Notwithstanding the protection measures taken up by the government, the forests in and around Nilgiris are more susceptible to the activities of timber-mafias, who are said to be very active in certain remote forest areas. In line with this, reports are now coming about the illegal felling of shola trees, a rare variety of indigenous tree, around Mudimund area.

Responding to the crisis, Ajjinanda Poovaiah, an activist of the NGO, Wildlife first, filed a well-researched complaint before the Karnataka Lokayukta (state ombudsman) in February 2003, alleging official corruption and mismanagement under the project.

Large-scale felling and transportation of costly timber from the jungle areas have resumed in Sanguem taluka. Though hundreds of teak and other prized trees have been illegally cut and transported from the remote areas of Wadem and Netravali since the last two years, authorities have been silent in the matter. In the past few months, about 25-30 teak trees have been cut and transported to unknown destinations, locals told Herald. The forest department had grown a large number of teak and other trees in the forest areas of Sanguem taluka.