DIZG (UPPER CHITRAL): The forest department has handed over saplings planted under the KP government’s billion tree tsunami afforestation programme in different parts of the Yarkhun valley to the local communities, residents told ChitralToday.
The largest enclosure of the new plants was in the Khotan Lasht desert where plantation started in 2016.
The forest department has planted about 100,000 saplings in the desert located between Dizg and Istach villages since 2016.
Nigahbaans were also hired by the department to look after the saplings for a period of three years.
Under its policy, the department looks after the new saplings for three years and then hands them over to the local people.
Recently, the enclosures in Khotan Lasht, Brep, Shich, Urkhan/Meragram, Pavur and other areas of Yarkhun were handed over to the local communities. With this, Nigahbans hired by the government to look after the plants have also been removed.
A resident of Dizg told ChitralToday that the village organization has taken over the saplings in Khotan Lasht and hired two persons to look after the plants. They will be paid for the work by the local people. The plants on Istach side have been given to the local people too, he added.
A Nigahban in Solkoch village of Yarkhun said the Nigahbans were not paid salaries for over a year though they continued looking after the plants. He said they would approach the department concerned to pay them their dues.