Resin mafia active in Renuka area of Himachal

DFO Renuka orders inquiry and called explanation of field staff. Around two thousand pine trees were unscientifically blazed to tap resin in prohibited reserve forest area.

Forest Mafia has made its presence in the forests of Renuka area. As per information received here Mafia had chopped the bark of around two thousand Pine trees in the Deber Ghat – Garari forest beat for illegal taping of resin. It is a prohibited reserve forest area and any activity in this area was strictly prohibited.

A forest conservation committee of local people comprising the residents of village Debar Ghat and Garari reportedly tried to stop these illegal activities in the forest but they could not succeed and finally they decided to bring this matter into the notice of Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Mr. Vir Bhadra Singh. In a letter sent to the Chief Minister and copies endorsed to several other senior officials of State government, hundreds of villagers by putting their signature on the letter have requested the CM to save their valuable Pine forest at any cost from the clutches of Mafias.

In the letter residents had complained that laborers of Mafias continuously for several days brutally chopped the bark of around two thousand of Pine trees and put heavy amount of acid on the wounds of trees to get more and more resin out of it. They said that as per the forest experts, if quantity of acid applied on the blazes of Pine trees was more than the recommended one, there was every chance that the tree would be dried up. They said that mafia men had unscientifically chopped the bark of trees from the both sides of trees causing irreparable damage to the valuable trees. They have expressed apprehension that hundreds of year old Pine trees may die if suitable action was not taken immediately.

Villagers had expressed their concern on this incident and alleged that officials of Forest Department had become silent spectator in the matter. They have demanded strict legal action against all defaulters in this connection. They apprehended that if trees were damaged, it may prove biggest environmental hazard in the area. They have said that some influential persons were involved in this case and high level inquiry be ordered to bring defaulters to books.

Office bearers of forest conservation committee told “myHimachal” that they would launch an agitation to save their forest if no action was taken in this matter.

When contacted, Divisional Forest Officer [DFO] Renuka Mr. R. S. Patial confirmed that this happening had occurred on the reserve forest area. He said that it was a serious matter and he had ordered an inquiry into the matter. He said that his office was seeking explanation from the Forest Guard and Block Officer of the area as how it happened despite their presence in the area. DFO added that field staff had been asked to prepare a damage report of the damage caused to the Pine trees in the forest area.

Mr. Hari Singh Dogra, Conservator of forest Nahan circle said that till this evening the matter was not reported to him by the departmental officials. He said that the matter was serious and he would seek a report from the DFO Renuka immediately and take appropriate action.

Working as district correspondent with The Tribune & Danik Tribune in Sirmour.

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