Khayar logs released on Bam Dev Gautam’s order

Bardiya, March 1:

Bardiya District Administration Office last evening released five trucks of Khayar logs, on the direction of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam. Area Administration Office, Rajapur, had seized the Khayar logs from Patabhara in Bardiya a month ago. The Khayar logs had been kept on the premises of Bardiya DAO for the investigation.

The Khayar logs, being transported in the name of Shiva Kastha Udhyog, Manikapur, also had a clearance chit of Bardiya National Park.

The DAO had formed a probe committee to investigate into the seized Khayar logs. Chief of the probe committee and administrative officer at the Bardiya DAO Santa Bahadur Dhakal said Chief District Officer Bed Bahadur Karki directed them to release

the Khayar logs. “We were investigating into the smuggling of Khayar logs. But we aborted our investigation on CDO Karki’s direction,” Dhakal said.

CDO Karki left for Lucknow, India, on Friday after directing his officials to release the seized logs.

Meanwhile, Dharmaraj Neupane, chief of Area Administration Office, Rajapur, and Armed Police Force Inspector Umakanta Joshi condemned the Bardiya DAO’s decision of releasing the Khayar logs.

“Despite knowing that the Khayar logs were smuggled, the DAO released them without taking any action. Such acts only encourage the smugglers,” Neupane said, adding, “I really saw a new thing in new Nepal.” He claimed that Khayar logs, felled in Bardiya National Park, were being smuggled by mixing it with Khayar logs felled from a private forest. Jhamak Karki, an employee at Bardiya National Park (BNP), had supported the felling of Khayar trees in BNP.

“The trucks carrying the logs had not been sealed,” he said, adding, “An application to fell Khayar trees had been lodged in the name of a dead person. Such acts justify that the Khayar logs were being smuggled.”

According to a source at Bardiya DAO, log contractors Ratan Thapa and Ramesh Giri and Shiva Kastha Udhyog in Manikapur in the district, have spent Rs 9 lakh to free the logs. Owner of the Udhyog Bishnu Mainali is affiliated with the Maoists. The clearance chit issued by the BNP had mentioned the measurement of logs to be 2,389 sq.ft. When a team of mediapersons, police and the employees of the DAO reached the private forest in Patabhar owned by Jivan Singh Rathaur, the roots were not as big as the ones seized by the Area Administration Office, Rajapur.

Neupane regretted that the accused were not punished even after submitting a field report at the DAO.

However, the employees of BNP and District Forest Office are tightlipped over the issue.