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news details
Illegal trade of walnut wood unabated
District Admin Srinagar mute spectator
7/11/2018 10:27:36 PM
Early Times Report
Srinagar, July 11: Walnut tree which has been an identity of Kashmir's culture is being axed continuously across Kashmir valley from last few years. The timber / firewood traders of Srinagar are selling the same in open market and authorities at the helm of affairs especially Srinagar district administration is mute spectator to this vandalization.
Details available with Early Times reveal that timber mafia associated with walnut wood trade is involved in illegal smuggling of these trees. Irony is that green and young walnut trees are being felled in South and Central Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian , Budgam and Ganderbal. Sources say that walnut timer / firewood is openly being sold by timber and firewood dealers in Srinagar which otherwise is a punishable offence.
" The officials of revenue department are said to be hand and glove with the smugglers as Tehsildars give permission for axing of these trees. If one tree is given permission , smugglers axe one dozen and then same is brought to Srinagar and is sold in open market " said a local resident of Kellar Pulwama Abdul Hameed
Reliable sources have told Early Times that walnut trees are being felled at an alarming rate in Shopian , Kulgam , Anantnag , Tral , Budgam , Kupwara , Baramulla and several other places from last 1 year. Sources say that local revenue officials are in hand and glove with the smugglers and give permission to axe these trees under the garb of public nuisance or declaring the tree as dead wood.
Authorities in Budgam failed even to file formal FIR's against all the accused persons who axed several chinar and walnut trees during the 2016 unrest. As reported already as many as 12 chinar trees and 200 plus walnut trees were axed between July 15th and October 15th 2016 in Budgam district alone. In other districts same or more number of chinar / walnut trees were axed and till date this illegal activity is not at all coming to an halt.
The authorities are unable to take action against the unscrupulous elements who are involved in axing of chinar and walnut trees cross state.
" Timber / fire wood dealers in Bemina , Tengpora , Sanat Nagar , Hawal and many other areas of Srinagar are selling walnut wood / timer in open and authorities especially the District Administration is mute spectator to this illegal trade " said Bashir Ahmad a resident of Nowgam Srinagar
"In Charar-i-Sharief, Shopian, Bandipora and Tral areas more than 2000 walnut trees have been felled from last 2 years and authorities are unmoved , we appeal Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to take cognizance of this issue. He must raid all the timber / firewood stores across Srinagar , Baramulla and Anantnag and we assure him that tons of illegal walnut wood will be seized from these mandis / stores" said Ghulam Nabi a local resident of Rawalpora Srinagar.
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