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Timber Mafia Fails Billion Tree Tsunami In Chitral Valley

They pertain to ruthless cutting of our forested area in Arandu, Chitral. This area borders Afghanistan. Contractors of the "Timber Mafia" have started felling these beautiful trees ruthlessly which they are soon going to throw into the Chitral river which flows into Afghanistan.

Large-scale cutting of green trees in Arandu Gol goes Unnoticed, Local people of Arandu Gol have Appealed to the KP government to take action against cutting of green trees in Kamsay area. The felling of trees started on March 2 and is going on unchecked, they said.    Report= Chitral Today

They pertain to ruthless cutting of our forested area in Arandu, Chitral. This area borders Afghanistan. Contractors of the “Timber Mafia” have started felling these beautiful trees ruthlessly which they are soon going to throw into the Chitral river which flows into Afghanistan. Futher down stream , closer to Bajaur and Dir, people on both sides of the river will pull these logs out. The smugglers on the Chitral bank of the river will show this as “Afghan timber ” and the smugglers on the Afghan side will show it as ” Pakistan Timber”. These handsome young trees of Chitral forests are being raped by both sides.

DROSH Residents of Arandu Gol have alleged that large-scale felling of green trees has been going on in their area but despite the arrest of five persons by security forces on the complaints of the locals the forest department was not taking any action to stop the denudation of the green area. Muhammad Ajam, Saeedullah Jan, Hameed Khan, and others in their statement said a contractor, Malik Haji, along with seven machines and labourers reached Compart No 31 and Lot No 685 at the Kamsay area and started felling green trees on March 2. The local people approached the district forest officer and others but they did not take any action. The locals later complained to the security forces deployed in Arandu who took five persons who were cutting the trees into custody. The five persons were later handed over to the police but as the forest department did not initiate any complaint, they came back to the area and the cutting of the trees was still going on.

The local people called upon the chief justice of Peshawar High Court as well as the chairman of the PTI Imran Khan to take notice of the issue otherwise the local people would launch a protest against the PTI-led provincial government’s claim of aforestation under its billion tree tsunami project. They alleged that the forest department in connivance with the timber mafia was itself involved in cutting of green trees in Arandu. They said the people of Chitral were not allowed to cut a tree even to make a door but the officials of the forest department, which were supposed to protect the forest, were openly destroying the green area in connivance with the timber mafia to mint money.

Meanwhile, youth councilor Fahim Ullah from Drosh and environment activist Rehmat Ali Jaffar Dost from Booni expressed concerns over the cutting of green trees and appealed to the PTI government of KP and PTI chief Imran Khan to take action against the forest department officials for their failure to protect the forest. They said the PTI’s claim about planting millions of saplings in the province would be meaningless if the timber mafia was not stopped from destroying grown-up trees. They also appealed to the chief justice of Peshawar High Court to take notice of the issue.

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