chitral today

DFO defaced beauty of national park: villagers

CHITRAL: The elders of 11 villages have asked the government and high-ups of relevant departments to take action against the official responsible for the dilapidated condition of Chitral Gol National Park.

Speaking at a press conference, Salimuddin, chairman Park Association, secretary Hussain Ahmad and other members of the community said Chitral Gol National Park was of international standard park for the conservation of flora and fauna but the divisional forest officer (DFO) had defaced its beauty and habitats.

They said the population of markhors had considerably decreased owing to the incompetence and incapability of local officials of the Forest Department.

The residents of 11 villages, they said, used to take benefit from the forest but now the community role was curtailed and the jungle and habitats had suffered immense harm.

They alleged that the DFO was violating the agreement and the community was being kept out of affairs of forest and the park.

The number of markhors had decreased to 800 from 3,000 due to the imprudent policies and activities in the Kaur Zone of the park.

The office-bearers said that the fire that erupted at the Zarbat point in the park had reduced everything to ashes but the DFO was yet to visit the site.

They said that payment to  the community watchers had been stopped due to reasons best known to the officials concerned, which had irked the members of the community.

They appealed to the government to take action against the responsible official and order a probe into the decrease of markhor population.



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