Chitral's natural beauty marred by unchecked deforestation

CHITRAL, July 21: Chitral, an ideal peaceful valley that can project a soft image of the whole country in the world faces many environmental challenges these days. The first and foremost challenge faced by this leader-less district is ruthless deforestation which is taking place in limited forest areas of the district for the last many years. But the previous government broke all records of deforestation by giving free hands to timber mafia who created havoc in limited forests of the district and severely exposed Chitral to inundation of imminent flash floods. If floods damaged life and property of people in Chitral they must register FIR against the previous leaders of ANP and PPP coalition government and its administrative set-up along with the forest department officials of KP who are directly responsible for deforestation in Chitral which is the immediate cause of any future floods in the district. greenThe new government is requested immediately to ban any type of artificial harvesting (marking) which are in progress in the district even in these days and also abolish Forest Development Corporation (FDC) which is providing convenient field for timber mafia by introducing the concept of windfall, diseased and dry standing collection for regeneration purpose. Actually, the timber mafia harvest green deodar trees along in connivance with the forest department, and harvesting of green is totally prohibited according to national and international rules as well on the basis of moral ground as well. But who will stop this is hundred million questions? Environment activists have time and again requested the whole people of Chitral to stand up like the courageous people of Ayun against few members of timber mafia officials of forest department. Otherwise these troika (Timber Mafia, Forest Department and Elected Representatives) will vanish limited forest resources of Chitral in the coming few years and settles themselves out of the country after exposing us before devastating floods. Irony of the fat is that our government has established forest department from the hard earned tax income of poverty ridden people of Pakistan and responsibility of forest department is protection and promotion of forest but alternatively this department is busy in deforestation of Chitral in collaboration with timber mafia in the garb of artificial harvesting (marking). One of the activists said he had solid proof that how much green cutting took place in various comports of Chitral forest by timber mafia in collaboration with district forest department especially in the forest of Shishikoh, Kalash Valleys and Arandu side. Another serious environmental challenge faced by Chitral is bacterial attack on plants in Booni and other adjoining areas during summer seasons. At the end of spring season some sort of pests attack on plants in Booni and within the span of two months entire trees of the area are affected by the pests but neither agriculture research center Booni nor Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) take any step to curb this menace in the area. I would like to request quarter concern to take immediate step to control this pest which is increasing in the area by leap and bonds. Like other parts of Pakistan annual symbolic plantation ceremony also being celebrated in Chitral by government and Non-Government Organization. After huge hue and cry it is claimed that hundred thousand of new plants have been planted in various parts of Chitral. If that claim would be correct there will be no inch available in Chitral without plants in this time, because this claim has been made for the last many decades by government officials in every annual plantation season.]]>

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