Forest officials seize two ‘illegal’ planer machines at Bhadarwah

Acting tough against the forest offenders, sleuths of
Bhaderwah Forest Division seized two “illegal” planer machines here on Monday.

Acting on a tip off about the use of planer machines being
operated illegally to manufacture timber products used in construction works, a
team of forest officials headed by Range Officer Shafqat Khakan Malik under the
supervision of DFO Bhadarwah Chander Shekhar, raided two premises at village
Sungli, 3km from Bhadarwah town, and seized two planer machines.

“We have been getting information for some time that
planer machines have been installed illegally and are being used to manufacture
building material including doors, windows on large scale from green timber
extracted from the adjoining forests,” said Shafqat Khakan Malik, Range
Officer Neeru Range.

“Today, we raided two premises belonging to Rafiq Butt
and Basharat Hussain and seized two planer machines installed at their
respective residential houses in Sungli village,” Officer added saying
that legal action will be initiated against the offenders.

It is notable to mention here that while foiling two major
attempts of inter-state smugglers to illegally transport endangered medicinal
herb, Zakhm-e-hayat (Bergenia ciliata), forest officials seized huge
consignment of the rare herb on interstate border at Bhadarwah in Jammu and
Kashmir’s Doda district during last fortnight.

According to reports, Forest officials seized 500 kg of
Zakhm-e-hayat (Bergenia ciliata) worth Rs 3.50 lakh at Padri meadow on
inter-state Bhadarwah-Chamba Road on 
June 30 and 650 kg of Zakhm-e-hayat worth Rs 5.50 lakh along inter-state
Bhadarwah-Chamba Road on July 10, which according to officials was being
transported to the Chamba town of Himachal Pradesh.

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