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Transportation of illegal timber out of Chitral allowed

Manzoor Ali

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Friday approved Rs525 million funds for the transportation of the 1.494 million cubic feet illegal timber from Arandu area of Lower Chitral district to Chakdara depot for sale.

It met with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair and was attended by ministers, acting chief secretary and administrative secretaries.

The trees illegally cut down in Arandu Gol area on the southern part of Lower Chitral district have been lying in the open for several years due to legal issues and wrangling among government departments.

The forest department had recommended to the cabinet in a summary that since Lower Chitral’s district administration and Pakistan Army were ready to provide ‘atmosphere congenial for forceful seizure and departmental salvage of illegally harvested timber, so using this option, 1.494 million cubic feet of unlawfully fallen timber lying in Arandu Gol should be salvaged’. 

It also said that the amount from the sale of the timber, which was estimated to be around Rs2.3 billion, would be transferred to the forest development fund.

The department also asked the cabinet for Rs525 million funds for the ‘departmental salvage’ of that timber from the finance department.–Dawn

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