Kerala

Seized rosewood being shifted to Forest depot

Workers loading rosewood logs that were illegally felled from a private plantation at Vazhavatta, Wayanad, being shifted to the Forest department timber depot at Kuppady in the district on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Forest, Revenue, and Police department officials jointly began to shift the rosewood logs illegally axed from private farms in various parts of the district to the forest timber depot at Kuppady in the district on Wednesday.

According to Forest Department sources, a timber lobby had axed 82 huge rosewood trees, reserved to the government, at 28 sites in the district at low prices by misinterpreting a recent government order. The lobby had dumped 172 cubic metres of rosewood logs at 15 sites spread over nine villages in the district.

The massive rosewood felling came to light after the Forest Department officials seized 54 pieces of illegal rosewood timbers worth ₹60 lakh from a saw mill at Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district on February 9. The wood was transported from Wayanad to the saw mill without valid documents and the seizure was made on the basis of a tip-off.

The rosewood was transported by one Roji Augustine on behalf of a timber company at Vazhavatta in the district and whose owners are now absconding, sources said. “We have shifted 16 cubic metres of rosewood to the depot on Wednesday and the remaining wood will be shifted in the coming days”, South Wayanad Forest Divisional Officer P. Ranjith Kumar told The Hindu. Close to 80 officials of the Forest, Revenue and Police departments participated in the operation . Mr. Ranjith Kumar and A. Sivadasan, tahsildar, Vythiri taluk, supervised the operation.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 2:13:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/seized-rosewood-being-shifted-to-forest-depot/article33984357.ece

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