STAFF REPORT RWP: As the unavailability of natural gas marred the lives of people in chilly weather, the logger mafia is out to steal woods from forests illegally and sell them out at the hands of wood-sellers in various areas of the Rawalpindi region.

Though the Divisional Forest Department often claims that deforestation has slowed in recent years due to its efforts, yet the situation is still gruesome.

This illegal trade is continuing round-the-clock apparently with the alleged connivance of some corrupt officials of Forest Department in the jungles of Dhamial, Adyala, Chontra, Murree, Darnoyan, Kotli Sattian, Biaga, Lehtrar, Karal, Burj, Kahuta, Kalar Syedan and in several areas of Fateh Jang, Attock, Chakwal and Jhelum.

The wide-scale theft of woods/precious tree by the logger mafia has become a sign of nosiness for the owners of the lands from where the woods were being chopped illegally, sources said.

According to them, the logger mafia usually smuggles the woods during night time with alleged connivance of officials deployed at the Forest Department check posts set up in various areas to discourage the illegal smuggling of wood.

A source in Kalar Syedan also disclosed this scribe that the illegal wood cutting was continued in the forests on larger scale while the woods were being smuggled to other parts of the country.

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