The range forest officer from Ponda has seized three trucks, two excavators and a wheel loader which were involved in the illegal hill cutting and tree felling at a private forest in Bethoda on Thursday. Forest officials detained the drivers of the trucks and machinery involved and released them after taking necessary
According to Ponda RFO Deepak Betikar, illegal hill cutting was taking place at Bethoda in survey number 193 and 194, which is identified as private forest owned by Sayyad Mukaddar.
Natures Club working in the interest of the forests in Goa, filed a complaint with forest officials. Acting upon the complaint, officials conducted a raid and seized vehicles/machinery involved in the illegal act.
Forest officials also informed that the area in the stated survey numbers at Bethoda is disputed since 2016 and the matter is sub judice before the High Court, National Green Tribunal and also before the deputy collector.
Despite the same, the owner has started hill cutting and tree felling work illegally. Further investigation is in progress informed RFO Deepak Betkikar.