PTI chief reminded of its promise to check ruthless cutting of green trees in Chitral

CHITRAL, Dec 23: For the last many years, brutal deforestation and ruthless cutting of green deodar trees continue in Chitral. timber copyThe timber mafia is so strong in Chitral that ordinary community members are completely helpless before them because the mafia has strong nexus with government department. The forest department’s primary role is protection of forests but here in Chitral instead of protecting forest it is promoting and sheltering the timber mafia. On the one hand the forest department is annihilating natural forests through timber mafia in the garb of marking and artificial harvesting on the other millions of rupees are siphoned off on account of fake plantations which has no physical existence anywhere in Chitral. On contrary, individuals have developed their own forests on the basis of self-help without any government intervention which also reflects the flaws in the forest department plantation strategy. In the previous coalition of ANP and PPP, the people of Chitral appealed to the government functionaries to control artificial harvesting of green deodar trees in Chitral but no step was taken. When the PTI assumed power in KP with the slogan of change and zero tolerance for corruption, we had high expectation from the government that it would take some steps to bridle the timber mafia in Chitral but all our expectations dashed to ground after six months of the new PTI government in the province. At the initial stage, imranChief Minister Pervez Khattak and the minister of forest and environment publicly announced to control all types of cutting of trees in the province which was highly appreciated by the people of Chitral. Even in his public meeting at Polo Ground Chitral at the time of election campaign, PTI chief Imran Khan had publicly announced to maintain greenery of Chitral by stopping all types of green tree cutting which were taking place in the Chitral. As environmental activists we also publicly applauded the announcement of the provincial government for environmental friendly initiatives which have not been materialized. Having being disappointed with the PTI government, we again remind Imran Khan of his promise which he made in Chitral. We also directly appeal to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take immediate notice and take steps for controlling deforestation in Chitral.–Rehmat Ali Jaffardost    ]]>

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