Deforestation on in Bardiya national park

Bardiya, November 16:

Deforestation at large scale has been continuing in the Bardiya National Park as timber smugglers’ attempt to fell trees goes unhindered.

Locals said timber smugglers intrude into the park at night, fell trees and transport them. Deforestation is rampant in Sainawar, Manau, Baragadahi, Dumarhi and other adjoining areas, they said.

Ramesh Thapa, ranger of the park, said that a patrolling team has started to guard the park after the rise in timber smuggling. “We have started patrolling to nab the timber smugglers. We also raid the suspicious places”, he said.

Thapa said one Tikaram Tharu of Baganaha VDC-8, Sainawar, was arrested on Wednesday when he was concealing the felled trees underground in his courtyard. Action would be taken against those responsible for smuggling timber in the park, he said, adding that they have been searching timber smugglers. Though an army post stationed for the security of the national park is located nearby the deforestation site, soldiers from there never patrol the area.

The park administration said soldiers are not allowed to patrol in the park as per the understanding reached between the government and the Maoist.