High profile people involved in deforestation at Acuhaga valley

A report has published on Chitral News about destruction of forest and its pertain to mention here that during last July a large forest was damaged due to fire eruption and that is due to marketing of the forest on wind fall later without consultation with the concerns villagers such Anish and Darasguru people they culprits used their influential sources for general marking  and thousands of trees damaged in the valley of Acuhagha. A movement started as in oct 2012 as ‘’Forest Conservation and Accountability Committee in aforesaid villages and they people have formed 08 member committee regarding illegal cutting of trees. Now their struggle is making fruits and hope government will make high level investigation regarding the matter. There are some reports published on The Kalasha Times during fire eruption and later regarding the problem check one here: Eye Witness report

Chitral In a surprising revelation, the name of PTI Chitral president Abdul Latif came up in a recent action against forest mafia cum forest officials link in destroying green deodar trees in Bumburet area of Chitral. It may be reminded that PTI Chairman Imran Khan during his huge public meeting in Chitral last September, had vowed to stop deforestation in Chitral.

Forest department took action against illicit cutting of green trees of Deodar, Kail and Fir. According to Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Chitral Shaukat Fiaz a fake joint forest management committee (JFMC) had been  organized by Noor Shahiden son of Bahrma Shah Kalash chairman of JFMC with fake signature of other members from the same locality which had registered by forest department in past on the direction of Noor Shahideen. Source told to DFO Chitral that some 43 green trees of Deodar, Kail and Fir have been cut illegally accomplice with Forest Development Corporation (FDC). On the direction of Chief Conservator Hashim Ali Khan and conservator Shah Wazir DFO Chitral detailed Ehsanuddin Sub Divisional Forest officer and Fazal Khaliq SDFO as inquiry officers  who went to  forest of Achulgah compartment No 9 &  10. During inspection of inquiry committee it was proved that 143 Green Deodar,  Kail and Fir trees have been cut illicitly consisting on 187540 cusec feet causing of millions of rupees loss to forest department.

DFO Chitral told this scribe that concerned people involved in this crime would be fined 1000 per tree as well as after assessment its market value another fine would be charged upon them as more than five times of its market value. He said that Sub divisional forest officer Muhammad Yousaf, Muhammad Rahim forester and Ahmad Baig are involved in this gang and legal action would be taken against them. He said those illicit cut green trees were taken in custody by Forest department. He said that only wind fall and dry standing tree can be cut according to 2004 forest policy and green tree in not allow at any cost to be cut illicit. He said that  Abdul Hadi a local person had complained to police regarding fake and illegal JFMC of Noor Shahideen and police also investigating the case regarding fraud case and legal action would be also taken against Noor Shahideen, Maik Shahi, Sirajuddin as well as Saifur Rehman Deputy Forest Manager and Assistant forest manager who also involve in this gang. It is expected that some 130 million fine would be recovered from the defaulter who involved in illegal cutting of green tree. Shahbaz khan son of Lala resident of Kaisu working as petty contractor for FDC confessed in presence of inquiry team and recorded his statement that subject damage caused by him on consent of Noor Shahideen the then chairman of JFMC for illegal admixture in the subject lot which is sufficient to prove  the allegations leveled against  FDC. As well as

Chitral police have already registered a case of fraud case who collected record of concern JFMC by court for further interrogation and investigations. Source told this scribe that Haji Muhammad Khan was carriage contractor and being a local person of Ayun he also not play his role to inform concerned authority regarding illicit cutting of green tree of Deodar and to stop it timely before its cutting. Forest department framed charges and sent the case to high up for further necessary action,  hence secretary forest department is the authorize officer who can reduce this fine if he was approached by politically or pressurized him by hiding hands. Social and political circle of Chitral highly hailed this step by forest department and demanded from Chief Minister KPK and forest department for taking stern action against culprits and forest staff involved in this gang. It is worth to mention here that cutting of green tree is totally banned according to forest rules. But this is first time that cutting of green tree were detected and proved hence it is not clear that so many green trees have been cut in past which are still hidden.

A top level government official at Chitral told this scribe that the contract had been awarded to Abdul Latif president of PTI Chitral district who had sublet it to Haji Muhammad Khan. A senior officer of Forest department confirmed that all of 3 staff defaulters in this case were suspended from government service. — GH Farooqi, 08 July 2013

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