Belying the tall claims of the government of conserving the green gold in state, the locals in Ganderbal have blamed the forest department of leaving hundreds of willow and poplar trees unattended which were uprooted owing to wind storms.
According to reports, the strong winds during the last couple of months back had left several hundred willow and poplar trees uprooted in Harran-Gundirehman, Shallabugh, Dugpora and in many other areas in Ganderbal district.
Locals said that authorities have been acting as mute spectator leaving these priceless trees on the verge of extension.
“What concerns us now is that these willow trees are losing their roots and they are drying up with the passage of time,” Mudasir, a local youth said.
“We on several occasions informed the forest department. However, no heed is being paid to our pleas. Still the trees are laying on the ground for so many days and ironically not a single official from the department has visited here to assess the situation, “said the locals.
The locals say that they have apprehension that smugglers and officials of the concerned department are hand in glove with each other as they wish the trees to fall into the hands of timber smugglers.
“Couple of years back few employees of the department were arrested for smuggling timber and this time we feel the repeat of the same,” said, another local wishing anonymity.
When Kashmir Vision contacted DFO Sind forest division Ganderbal, Tanveer Ahmad, he said that they have already submit a report to higher authority.
“Steps are being taken in this regard. We have already submitted a detailed report to the higher authorities and once they give us an approval we will surely act,” he said.