Kupwara:Forest department denied allegations of “Timber log illegal extraction”

Kupwara:Forest department denied allegations of “Timber log illegal extraction”

“Accused identified and will be booked soon”: Forest Official

Kupwara: In an alleged illegal extraction of timber logs in Kamraj Forest Division,the department clearly denied any form of illegal extraction and said fallen stocks are being extracted by the department.

However the department claimed that some trees were felled before snow but kept unconverted and investigation in this is underway. “We have identified the accused and FIR against them is being registered”, official to JKDASTAK

To verify the claims of the department, our correspondent went to Batpora forests of Kamraj Forest division, Compartment 73NH. About 18 kms of walk , they found 18 number of deodar timber in round form properly marked and numbered lying in the said compartment and other fallen trees are also existing in the said Forests.

Further, while coming back towards Kupwara, the team went to Forest Complex Zangli Kupwara, to verify the credentials of the stocks, has any order been issued for extraction purpose? , and wherein it has been found conversion permission for six number of damaged / fallen trees has been accorded by the concerned DFO, the copy of the same is lying with JKDASTAK.

The department however has suspended two employees for not reporting the fallen trees, an order copy of which lies with the JKDASTAK.

In an order it stated that ” cognizance of the above mentioned report of Range Officer, Kupwara, Sh. Altaf Hussain Sheikh, Forest Guard (the then I/C Beat Guard, Batpora Beat) and Sh. Mohd Shafi Lone, (the then Addl. Beat Guard, Batpora Beat) were placed under suspension vide this office Forest Order No. 01 of 2023-24 Dated:-03-04-2023 and attached to CP, Sangri & CP, Shiva respectively and show cause notice was issued vide this office No. DFO/Kmj/EsW11-16 Dated:-03-04-2023 to Sh. Mohd Ishaq Shah (the then BO, Batpora) and the then Beat staff of Batpora Beat that why recoveries are not affected from their salaries since they have neither protected the standing forest crop nor taken the timely cognizance of the listed-up forest damages and have as such failed to report the damages in the said compartment well in time”, reads an official order.

While talking with Conservator of Forests Kashmir North Circle, Sopore Irfan Rasool regarding the said issue he said, “Departmental extraction is going on and snow/wind fallen stocks are being a down for safe custody. Logs are being properly marked and numbered as per departmental norms . No illegal extraction is going on in the said forest”.