The Forest and Wildlife Department will adopt stringent steps to curb illegal timber trade in Wayanad. The move follows the recent massive rosewood tree felling in the district.
A recent meeting of senior forest officials decided not to issue blank Form 4 for transporting timber any more to curb its misuse, D.K. Vinod Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forest, Kannur, told The Hindu.
Entering details of the wood should be mandatory while issuing it. Loading and unloading of timber would be allowed only in the presence of forest officials and their signature would be mandatory while transporting royal wood such as rosewood and teak. Forest check-posts on the district border would be strengthened and a new forest check-post would be set up at Boys Town on the Wayanad-Kannur border. The department had constituted a six-member team to investigate the rosewood tree felling and smuggling in Wayanad. The team would investigate the illegal felling of rosewood trees under the South Wayanad Forest Division.
A timber lobby had axed close to 165 cubic metres of rosewood, including rosewood trees reserved to the government, at 28 sites at Vazhavatta misinterpreting a recent government order. The department was planning to confiscate the timber and shift it to a government timber depot at Kuppady in the district.
“The exact number of reserved wood could be ascertained only after checking the tree registers in village offices, for which we are planning to constitute a joint team of Forest and Revenue officials. It will be finalised in a discussion with the District Collector on Tuesday,” he said.