Timber lies rotting and undistributed in govt. timber depots
Government warehouses in India are where essential commodities go to die even in times of dire need. A mixture of corruption and bureaucratic apathy allows thousands of crores worth of grains and other perishable supplies to rot in these depots. In today’s video Community Correspondent Sajad Rasool from the state of Kashmir brings you the state of affairs in the timber depot of the Forest Department in his district of Badgam. The people of the region barely have enough wood to construct roofs over their houses to protect their families and themselves from the bitter winters of the north. Meanwhile, the state Forest Department, oblivious and uncaring, lets the timber dry, hollow and rot under their custody.
Making matters worse is that this apathy comes at a time when the state of Kashmir is sounding alarms about environmental catastrophes due to increasingly reducing tree cover. The government is quick to blame it on ‘illegal timber smugglers’. But Sajad there is more to it than smuggling cartels.
Come winter, the locals are faced with three choices – a) choose to weather the snow and sub-zero cold with only a plastic sheet for cover or b) go into the forest and cut down fresh timber for their houses and c) submit an application for timber at the Forest Department and wait for the approval. The first is not an option. The last seems great on paper but without bribes or contacts the wait for wood would last long, unending years.
Essentially, the locals are left only with plan b).