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Shishi Koh villagers deprived of timber royalty

DROSH, April 4: The residents of Kalaas, a village in the wooded Shishi Koh valley, have alleged that large scale irregularities have been committed in the cutting of forest and award of royalty to the locals in the area. timberThey appealed to the provincial government led by the Tehreek-e-Insaf Pakistan (PTI) to order an investigation into the matter. Talking to this correspondent, residents of the village, including Maulana Mujeebul Haq, Nazirur Rehman, Maulana Abdul Haq and Haji Rehmat Nawaz, said there were large-scale irregularities in the payment of royalty to the owners of compartment number one and four and lot number 673 of the Kalaas forest. They said that the forest contractor and the so-called joint forest management committee (JFMR) members were involved in embezzling of the royalty amount. They pointed out that there was a set procedure to pay the royalty to the forest owners. Under the procedure, a government officer visits the site and makes payment to the forest owners. However, in the case of Kalaas village, the Munshi of the contractor distributed Rs10,000 each among the residents and got their sign on a blank paper, they alleged. They claimed that the lowest cost of the 146,000 square-foot timber taken from the area at the rate of Rs5,000 per cub foot becomes around Rs1 million. However, the contractors and the JFMC officials cheated the local people and handed them only a few thousands rupees. The residents said that they had been demanding of the authorities in the Departments concerned to take note of the issue but to no avail as the timber mafia is very strong and bribed the officials too. They said that the dreaded timber mafia used different tactics to silence any voice against them. They also alleged that the local police were also hands in glove with the timber mafia and at the behest of the mafia were implicating people in different cases. They demanded that the government should take notice of the issue and take action against the corrupt elements.–Jahan Zeb]]>

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