The forest guards have thwarted an attempt of the poachers to fell wood and transport it from the Cardamom Hills Reserve area in Kumbanpara in the Kallar forest zone.
A ‘punna’ tree of four cubic metre size was seized by the Forest Department. The tree was cut into four pieces so that it could be transported in mini lorries. A case has been registered under the Kerala Protection of Trees Act of 1986. “The information network has been strengthened in the wake of the increasing cases of felling trees in the district,” Munnar DFO Induchoodan told ‘Express’. The Forest Department swung into action after getting information about the felling of trees and seized the wooden logs.
The department has collected information about the culprits. We have launched further investigation to nab the culprits, said Jayachandrabose, Forester, Kumbanpara forest area. “It is learnt that two persons were involved in the felling of trees. The department is confident of getting enough evidence to act against the culprits,” he said.
The plan of the poachers was to transport the wooden logs within two days. However, the forest guards could seize the wood, which costs about Rs 25,000. If proved, the offence would invite one-year imprisonment and a fine of about Rs 3,000.
Since the area does not come under reserve forest, the punishment would be milder. Meanwhile, forest sources said there was lack of support from some villagers in acting against the poachers. There are reports of some politicians extending support to those involved in felling of trees in the area. When contacted K B Varadharajan, president, Pallivasal village panchayat, denied the knowledge of any such incidents in the area.