Illegal extraction of stones from the President Chure–Tarai Madhes Conservation area in Rautahat district has increased after the security forces were forced to focus more on strikes ongoing in the plains.
Most of the security personnel in the district are deployed to maintain peace and order during the indefinite bandh called by the United Democratic Madhesi Front.
After locals reported increase in illegal extraction to Chief District Officer Madan Bhujel recently, police have impounded five tractors in two days.
More than 80 tractors laden with stones from Dhansar, Hilekhola, Judiwela, Paurai, Haraiya and Gaidatar of Chure range move out on a daily basis.
Shyam Chandra Jha, a leader of Nepali Congress, said that the smuggling is increasing in the area despite millions of rupees were invested in the name of conservation.
Jha further said the illegal extraction can be stopped if the local administration remains alert.
Local Bharat Acharya of Chandranigahapur informed that the smuggling has increased due to the contradictory policy of the government about the use of stone extracted from the area.
CDO Bhujel, however, said strong action will be taken against the smugglers.