India’s Ban on Logging and Transportation of Timber Fails to Slowdown Construction

According to Krishnadatta Bhatta, chief at Pahalmanpur Division Forest Office in Kailali, the federal government on May 28, had put a stop to logging and transportation of timber for a number of reasons, which included: investigating the alleged financial irregularities in the sale of timber and in inviting tenders; to ensure transparency in the expenditure of the community forest funds; and finally to curb rapid tree felling that was taking place in the first months of 2020. According to Mahesh Joshi, a provincial assembly member in Sudurpaschim Province, that has led to widespread use of seized illegal lumber in construction which has escalated in the province since the federal government imposed a nationwide ban on logging. and timber sale in Kailali and other districts of the province. Despite the ban, however, the construction of houses and development activities have continued in the province, according to Ram Chandra Kandel, Division Forest Officer in Dhangadi ,“All legal supply channels have been shut off but construction has not stopped. This indicates a boom in illegal timber trade in the province, especially in the urban areas. But our hands are tied at the moment.”

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