Rampant tree looting from Dinajpur forest research institute area
Local wood smugglers have chopped down about 600 trees in the forest research institute area of Birampur upazila since the last year, said an insider.
Smugglers steal the wood with the connivance of some dishonest officials of Charkai Range Forest Research Institute (CRFRI), said a high official of the institute, who sought anonymity for security concerns.
CRFRI, aiming to conduct researches on forest areas in the region, was established on over 192-acre land. Trees covering an area of 10 acres have gone missing so far.
Villagers said the illegal business is being run openly, but the officials ignore it.
Admitting that the illegal tree cutting is common here, Md Azizul Haque, field investigator of CRFRI, said they cannot watch over all the trees due to staff shortage.
Birampur Police Station sources said at least three cases have been filed against eight locals, suspected of wood smuggling, since the last year as 35 documented trees were missing in the area.
Most of the felled trees are of valuable segun, sal, and eucalyptus which fetch large amount of money, villagers said, adding that a large number of segun logs are transported to different areas of Dinajpur district everyday, but forest guards hardly take any action.
A section of unscrupulous people also felled down five to eight-year-old trees in the past, said several villagers.
Manindra Nath Das, forest ranger of CRFRI, said research activities reduced because trees are being felled everyday.