Tshering Namgyal | Mongar  

Of the six Forest Management Units (FMU) in the eastern region, NRDCL has temporarily suspended the operation of four – Rongmanchu in Lhuentse, Dongdechhu in Trashiyangtse, and Kharungla and Wamrong in Trashigang.

Only Lingmethang in Mongar and Khengzor in Pemagatshel are operational.

NRDCL officials said that hardwood extracted from those sites has market issue and the FMU committee meeting decided to temporarily stop operation.

NRDCL sold the old timber stock at Fawan in Lhuentse, Dongdechhu in Trashiyangtse and Wamrong in Trashigang to be used as firewood.

According to officials, the region sold 14,894 CFT at Nu 236.5 per cubic metre which would have fetch close to Nu 1.9 million if it were sold as log form for sawing purpose.

NRDCL officials said even the four sawmills in operation in the region are not willing to buy this timber and it was decided to bring to halt the annual allotment system where the available timber stock is distributed between the NRDCL and Association of Wood-based Industries by forest officials.

“Due to annual audit objection because of the high operational cost in the absence of demand and had to propose during FMU committee meetings and to the head office and it was approved to be temporarily stopped functioning accordingly and sold it as firewood,” the regional manager of NRDCL’s Zhongar region, Kinley, said.

He said there is no demand for such species of wood in the eastern region.

The regional office also exported about 16100 CFT of such class of wood to India.

Officials said the remaining stock from Kharungla would be transferred to the joinery at Lingmethang for value addition.

“This too doesn’t have good market and it’s been sold in the western Bhutan bearing extra transportation charges,” said Kinley.

However, NRDCL officials said two FMU: Lingmethang and Khengzor in Pemagatshel are doing well in terms of demand as of now.