DADELDHURA, June 22: In its bid to curb rampant deforestation in parts of Dadeldhura district, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has started taking statements from 250 ´suspect´ officials of 95 community forests. A special team of the CIAA is in the district.
According to the district administration office (DAO), this is actually a continuation of CIAA investigations into the matter after it surmised massive forestation in the area last year.
After a study last year, the CIAA estimated the loss to the country from deforestation and timber smuggling there at Rs 220 million.
“We are already collecting details. Over 250 individuals in positions associated with community forestry are answering our questions,” said Krishna Prasad Dhungana who is leading the team.
According to Dhungana, an earlier study by the CIAA had held several government officials, position holders, users of community forests and those bidding for tenders responsible for deforestation and timber smuggling. “Those who have been fingered by the CIAA have been ordered to headquarters to make their statements,” he said.
Meanwhile, CIAA spokesperson Ishwari Poudel informed that 40 others including the then regional forest director were recently called to the capital to answer questions.
Maoist cadres also into deforestation (PUSHPARAJ JOSHI)
DOTI: Barely a month after local UCPN (Maoist) leaders were found involved in timber smuggling from Suwakhan Community Forest near district headquarters Silgadhi, there are reports of the involvement of another Maoist leader (associated with the Baidhya faction) in deforestation and timber smuggling.
Police earlier held Dipendra Chalaune, leader of the UCPN (Maoist), for smuggling timer.
A local said, requesting anonymity, that individuals calling themselves YCL are involved in the smuggling. “I hear they belong to the Baidya faction,” he said.