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      April 07, 2013

Detail




Chitral and environmental challenges

Sir,

Chitral being an ideal district of KP in terms of peaceful environment, best resorts of tourists and projector of soft image of whole KP in the world faces many environmental challenges these days. First and foremost challenge faced by this leader-less and God gifted district is ruthless-deforestation which is taking place in limited forest areas of the district for the last many years. But outgoing government broke all records of deforestation by giving free hands to timber mafia who created havoc in limited forests of the district and severely exposed Chitral to inundation of imminent flash floods. If floods damaged life and property of people in Chitral they must register FIR against the outgoing leaders of ANP and PPP coalition government and its administrative set up along with forest department officials of KP who are directly responsible for deforestation in Chitral which is the immediate cause of any future floods in the district. Existing caretaker government and in-coming new governments are requested immediately ban any type of artificial harvesting (marking) which are in-progress in the district even in these days and also abolish Forest Development Corporation (FDC) which is providing convenient field for timber mafia by introducing the concept of windfall, diseased and dry standing collection for regeneration purpose. Actually timber mafia harvest green deodar trees along with the above said collection in connivance with forest department, and harvesting of green is totally prohibited according to national and international rules as well on the basis of moral ground as well. But who will stop this is hundred million questions? I request entire population of Chitral to stand up like the courageous people of Ayun against few members of timber mafia officials of forest department who are in tenure position, but we have to pass our whole life in this district. Otherwise these troika (Timber Mafia, Forest Department and Elected Representatives) will vanish limited forest resources of Chitral in the coming few years and settles themselves out of the country after exposing us before devastating floods. Irony of the fat is that our government has established forest department from the hard earned tax income of poverty ridden people of Pakistan and responsibility of forest department is protection and promotion of forest but alternatively this department is busy in deforestation of Chitral in collaboration with timber mafia in the garb of artificial harvesting (marking). I have solid proof that how much green cutting took place in various comports of Chitral forest by timber mafia in collaboration with district forest department especially in the forest of Shishikoh, Kalash Valleyes and Arandu side.

Another serious environmental challenge faced by Chitral is bacterial attack on plants in Booni and other adjoining areas during summer seasons. At the end of spring season some sort of pests attack on plants in Booni and within the span of two months entire trees of the area are affected by the pests but neither agriculture research center Booni nor Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) take any step to curb this menace in the area. I would like to request quarter concern to take immediate step to control this pest which is increasing in the area by leap and bonds.

Like other parts of Pakistan annual symbolic plantation ceremony also being celebrated in Chitral by government and Non-Government Organization. After huge hue and cry it is claimed that hundred thousand of new plants have been planted in various parts of Chitral. If that claim would be correct there will be no inch available in Chitral without plants in this time, because this claim has been made for the last many decades by government officials in every annual plantation season. Unfortunately reality is different from the rosy picture which is displayed every year by the people. Fact is that all these plants are observed on the papers and not on the ground. Even this year CIADP Chitral also distributed plants in various parts of Chitral which were dry and not in such condition which could grow after plantation. Mere planting some siblings will not give result unless and until long term strategy is not made to properly care of the plants after plantation till their maturity. In our scenario only plants are planted without post plantation care either by government or by civil society, ultimately those plants will dry and not a single of them will mature to full-fledge tree.

There is no environmental protection department in Chitral which can take stock of the situation except Agriculture Research Cell which is also in hibernation these days and playing passive role in protection of environment by introducing new technique in agriculture sector, which forest is also strong component.



Rehmat Ali Jaffar Dost,
Environmental Activist
Chitral

 

 

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