Dhangadhi: The Godavari Municipality in Kailali district has witnessed a distressing surge in deforestation, posing a grave threat to national and community forestry. Alarming reports indicate that extensive tree cutting is being carried out in the Rato Pani Community Forest, located in Godawari Municipality-12 and connected to the Chure area. Shockingly, approximately 100 green and dry trees have been discovered felled and left abandoned within the forest.
Local residents have voiced their concerns, attributing the escalating deforestation to the involvement of Community Forestry Chairman, Kailash Vick, and forest personnel. Prompt action was taken by the vigilant locals, resulting in the arrest of two individuals implicated in the illegal tree cutting. Karnahadur B.K, brother of Community Forest Chairman Kailash B.K, and Tek Raj Ojha, a local resident, have been apprehended for their participation in the deforestation activities.
Forest Office Officer, Niranjan Kadal, confirmed that a forest case is being prepared against the accused parties. Furthermore, a significant recovery of 190 cubic feet of wood has been made in the area, primarily comprising sal trees. Disturbingly, it has come to light that the perpetrators clandestinely cut wood from the forest and illicitly trade it to mills.
Red Pani Community Forest holds vital ecological significance within the Chure area. Despite repeated reports from concerned locals about the ongoing deforestation, no concrete action has been taken by the forest authorities thus far. Consequently, the community members have taken it upon themselves to actively protect the forest. Additionally, it has been discovered that those involved in the illegal activities are also engaging in the hunting of wild animals such as wild boars and chitals. Demands for the resignation of Community Forest Chairman Kailash B.K. have emerged from outraged citizens, who assert that his alleged involvement has facilitated theft and smuggling activities.
Swift intervention and stringent measures are imperative to combat the alarming deforestation rate and preserve the integrity of the region's precious forests.