Six forest staffers, 16 villagers face charges for cutting trees

  • | Monday | 25th September, 2023

Dehradun: The forest department is preparing a chargesheet against six forest staffers and has registered a case against 16 villagers for their alleged involvement in the Chakrata tree felling case, in which approximately 90 to 100 Deodar and Kail trees, some as old as 200 years, have been illegally felled. The forest department confiscated the logs during their recent raids. Officials added that action will be taken against the staffers as per the service rule, while the villagers are facing charges under Section 26 of the Indian Forest Act. As per members of the forest department investigation team, the practice of deliberately drying out big trees and securing their allocation for personal use, including wood for fuel and the construction of cowsheds, had been going on for a long time. According to the investigation team, out of the six forest staffers, four hail from the Jaunsar Bawar area of Chakrata itself. They failed to report tree felling to their superiors; hence, action is being taken against them too. "As part of a pre-independence settlement, the Jaunsar tribes of Chakrata were granted a specific number of logs for personal use, given their tribal status and remote living conditions. However, they have been misusing this privilege by engaging in commercial sales of Deodar and Kail logs," said a forest official overseeing the investigation. The logs found their way to markets as far as Yamuna Nagar, Saharanpur and Pathankot, according to the forest staff. We also published the following articles recentlySighting of tigers on forest fringes keeps foresters on their toesA team of personnel in Mysuru is keeping a close watch on the fringes of the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve after the rescue of a tiger. Camera traps have captured images of tigers and a leopard in the area where a boy was killed. The operation involving over 40 personnel is ongoing to search for any other big cat in the region. Villagers living on the fringes of the forest are concerned about human-animal conflict. The director of the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve confirmed the movement of four tigers and a leopard close to the fringes of the forest.Arikomban surfaces at Manjolai, forest department sounds alarmA tusker named Arikomban, which was captured and released in a tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu, has appeared near human settlements in Manjolai area. The forest department has deployed a team to monitor the elephant and has alerted residents in the area. Arikomban had previously been captured in Idukki district in Kerala for raiding shops and houses. The elephant had been adapting well to the tiger reserve until it appeared near the settlements. Tourist movement in the area has been banned and residents have been advised to avoid night travel.132 forest officers promotedThe Rajasthan Forest Department has promoted 132 Regional Forest Officers to the position of Assistant Conservator of Forest, filling vacancies that had been pending since 2013. The promotions were made following a decision by the departmental promotional committee. It is speculated that the decision was influenced by the upcoming election year.

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