TANDO MUHAMMAD KHAN                   -                 Cutting of trees continues unabated in various parts of districts Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin and Thatta, as the authorities concerned have failed to check this illegal activity.

The environmental experts believe that one of the factors behind some devastating floods in Sindh is the climate change, resulting from massive cutting of trees.

Nothing has been learnt from the past experiences as the government has failed to save the forests.

One of the largest forest regions of Sindh, which starts from Hyderabad-Thatta and ends in district Badin, spreads over 2,57,000 acres and most of its part includes coastal areas.

Unfortunately, the timber mafia after ruthlessly cutting the trees sold them at throw-away prices, causing a huge loss to the national exchequer, officials and locals said.

The trees which are cut in the parts of district T.M. Khan, Thatta and Badin are transported to their neighbouring cities like Bulri Shah Karim, Tando Ghulam Hyder, Matli, Talhar, Tando Gagho, Sujawal, Mirpur Bathoro, Kaden, Tando Allahyar, Digri, Darro, Jhok Sharif and Jatti through different routes on a daily basis, but the officials are least bothered to take action against those connected to the business.

When contacted, a timber merchant said that even if the timber was confiscated, it was rare and that too in case the smugglers failed to strike a bargain with the concerned officials.

It has been observed that the trucks carrying illegal timber were impounded only on way to other districts, but the authorities in districts of T.M. Khan, Badin and Thatta are never questioned about how the vehicles crossed the checkpoints.

It is very unfortunate that the police personnel and officials of the forest department are hands in glove with the timber smugglers.

The locals allege that the officials always try to get facilities, without bothering about the massive deforestation.

The mafia people are also said to be very influential because they often block action against them.

One of the main reasons for increase in the activities of the timber mafia is stated to be pressure from the politicians who support their men even if they are involved in timber smuggling or other illegal activities.

The timber mafia has recently targeted the forests of district Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin and Thatta and its neighbouring areas. These include the forests of Mullakatiar (1,000 acres of land), Barham Shah (10,000 acres of land), Budhagah (5000 acres), Luttro (6,000 acres), Molchand Pakka (5000 acres), Molchand Kattcha (10,000 acres), Jurrar (5000 acres), Khadi (15,000 acres), Kheerthar (20,000 acres), Pinnah (5000 acres for plantation), Huderani (5000 acres), Panhwarko (10,000 acres), Kadirno (15,000 acres), Chachkati near Jatti (20,000 acres), Gorabari (20,000 acres), Veeran Belo (15,000 acres), Helaya (10,000 acres), Bao Bijorra (15,000 acres), District Badin: Rahri near Golarchi, (90,0000 acres), Bhoharki near Kadan (50,0000 acres for plantation). 

Forests in Mullakatiar, Barham Shah, Budhagah and Luttro have almost vanished.

The trees cut in the forests of these three districts are brought to the cities adjacent to them.

The smugglers use different methods to bring trees cut in the forests of Molchand-kattcha and Molchand-pakka, which are at a little distance from district Thatta and Tando Muhammad Khan via Bano village.