Officials collect smuggled logs

PARASI: The local administration today started collecting logs illegally cut from the proposed Madhuban Community forest in Nawalparasi district.

According to Chief District Officer Balkrishna Panthi, the work will be completed by tomorrow evening.

The logs are kept in the Sunawal Range Post.

Locals said staffers at the Sunawal Range Post, which lies at a distance of 2 km from the forest, did not show any interest in controlling the deforestation, while sal tree logs worth Rs 200 million have been cut in the area.

The locals claimed the logs were being smuggled in collusion with ranger Dilli Chapagain.

Hari Narayan Mandal, District Forest Officer, said the forest area is located at Sunawal VDC-5 and spread across more than 100 hectares of land.

An inspection team had found sal logs hidden in straw in every house, shed and pathway in Gaidakhal, Khakarabari, Hasanapur and other areas of Sunawal VDC-5 in the district.

“It has been revealed that members of the proposed community forest used to sell the logs to villagers for a low price.

The villagers used to sell them to smugglers on a good profit,” CDO Panthi claimed.

He said the administration will take action against the smugglers after a thorough investigation.

District Forest Officer Mandal admitted that there was negligence on the part of the ranger.