CHITRAL: The communities of two villages have demanded action against a group of people involved in the illegal sale of plots in public land located in the Yarkhun valley of Mastuj and accused the officials of the concerned department in Upper Chitral of not taking action against them.
The barren land called Khotan Lasht, which spreads over thousands of acres, has been used as a grazing ground by people of the nearby Dizg and Istach villages. However, the Revenue Department officials declared it state property.
The Forest Department a few years ago had planted over 100,000 saplings on parts of the barren land through the communities of Dizg and Istach villages located on its two sides. The communities claimed that a group of people were involved in carving out plots in the barren land along the Chitral-Broghil road near Dizg village and selling them.
The group claimed that the land had been allotted to them by the Revenue Department but it was denied by the officials concerned. In 2020, a patwari visited the area and recommended to the higher authorities to allot one of the group members a 105×125 feet plot.
Though the allotment of the plot has not yet been formalized, the group has sold at least seven plots of the same size on the nearby land in alleged connivance with the lower staff of the Revenue Department.
Sources in the area said a man in Brep was also involved in the illegal activity and issuing fake documents to the buyers.
However, despite being informed about the illegal sale of plots, the district administration and the settlement office have not taken any action against the land grabbers to stop the illegal activity.