Smuggling of herbs, timbers rampant in Karnali

HUMLA:  Herbs and timbers from forests of Humla, Mugu and Dolpa districts of Karnali and Bajura of Seti zone are being smuggled to the northern neighbour, China, of late.

Local people claim that herbs and wooden logs worth millions of rupees are being smuggled to the northern neighbour through nine Nepal-China border points.

It is learnt that that unavailability of office bearers at the District Forest Offices, insufficiency of police personnel, problems in communication due to differences in language, geographical difficulties, snowfall for six months causing problems to visit the places, cahoots between local people and entrepreneurs and protection of smugglers from political parties are some of the reasons behind the illegal trading.

Millions of jatamansi (Spikenard), kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa), panchaunle ( Dactylorhiza hatagirea) among other herbs as well as timbers are illegally imported to China regularly.

With the onset of winter season, police posts of northern parts are shifted to Simikot, Humla district headquarters, that allows the smugglers to carry out their activities freely, informed Chiriyamu Lama, an entrepreneur of Tamukot.

Humla District Police Office also informed that police cannot do regular check-ups to curb such activities due to geographical difficulties.

The unavailability of security personnel in different suspected areas of herbs smuggling has motivated the smugglers, informed Humla District Forest Office's Forest Officer Shyam Kumar Chaudhary.

The Area Forest Office staff cannot do anything in fear of the smugglers, informed Yari Area Forest Office Ranger Bir Bahadur Bamjan.