CM rejects forest owners' demand to lift ban

PESHAWAR, June 26: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Thursday refused to lift the ban on cutting of forests and disposal of windfall trees. He, however, said a comprehensive environment policy for increasing forest cover and cutting of trees on scientific lines in the province was ready and would be announced next month. The chief minister was talking to a delegation of forest owners from Upper Dir. ptiAccording to a handout, MNA Sahibzada Tariqullah, provincial minister for sports and culture Mehmood Khan, MPAs Mohammad Ali Khan, Shakeel Khan, Abdul Monim and Fazal Hakeem, and other public representatives were also present on the occasion. The delegation requested the provincial government for granting temporary permission for the transportation of the windfall timber to market. The chief minister said he was aware of the problems of forest owners and timber merchants due to the ban on cutting of forests as it was the only source of employment for them. Mr Khattak said destruction of environment for the sake of few rupees and inviting future natural disasters was no wisdom rather it was tantamount to mass suicide. He said each forest division would have separate plan under which there would be complete ban on timber cutting after the harvesting of wind-fallen trees in an organised and scientific manner. Under the new policy, he said, all windfall cases since 2003 would be disposed of.]]>

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