By Rakesh Kumar Citizen Journalist in Palampur
This is to bring in to your urgent notice that pine trees (green and young) are being cut in the forests of Palampur area of Kantdi and a mountain above road to Kandi from Neugal in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh
We informed concerned Range Officer Palampur but the mentioned officer said that the area comes under private land and that only dried off trees are being cut….well but when we asked the locals of Bundla and Lohna they confirmed that the mountain forest above road to Kandi from Neugal Bridge and Uwarna and forest above Lohna comes under the jurisdiction of DFO Palampur.
We then personally visited the forest up in the mountain only to find that fresh green pine trees are being cut and even some young trees are being marked for cutting.
When we were about to return to Panchkula from our Palampur visit, with the help of binocular we saw some people cutting another pine tree up in the mountain forests. It is normally not easy to see anyone cutting trees deep in forests from Bundla and Lohna, but easy to see using binocular. We have some photographs that are being attached here in with this mail.
As further informed by the locals of Bundla that no officer or police acts against the people cutting Pine Trees in the forests, probably they get bribed for it.
We are approaching you direct with the hope that your intervention will help save the forests of HP and the BEAUTY OF HIMACHAL.
By the time we drafted this mail most probably the culprits have removed all logs of Pine Trees from the forest as we already had informed Range Officer of DFO Palampur, but still we hope you will act and stop such activities in future for sake of Himachal and coming generation.
This is not enough under the cover of darkenss people in these villages also hunt wild hens and boar in forests.
THIS IS THE RESPONSE OF DFO PALAMPUR (According to Rakesh Kumar)
I am really thankful to you for showing concern about illicit felling of pine trees in the mountains of Palampur-Kandi area above Neugal. I have inquired in to the complaint through my field staff. The trees have been cut in the private land by the people under the HP Land Preservation Act,1978 under which the local owner can cut up to 5 trees without permission for bonafied domestic use.
The forest above Neugal towards Kandi area is a privately owned forest. Forest Department shall take cognizance only when there is illicit felling in the Govt Forest or more than 5 trees have been cut in the private forest. Even our Hon,ble Member Rajya sabha has got a private forest land at Kandi.However I shall again get the matter inquired fresh and culprits shall be hauled up in accordance with law.
Here the main point is people of Bundla and Lohna say that the mountain forest is part of DFO Palampur then how can it be a private land….why people of Bundla and Lohna will lie…even we saw more than 5 trees been cut and some young trees been marked for cutting….