Drom Gul Hammad Farooqi
CHITRAL: Residents of Arandu Gol have alleged that large-scale felling of green trees has been going on in their area for over two weeks 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 sent to this scribe said a contractor, Malik Haji, along with seven machines and laborers 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.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at email@example.com