PESHAWAR, Dec 14: Joint forest management committee of Chitral district has expressed concern over transportation of firewood to non-forest areas of the district and demanded of the government to stop illegal cutting and transportation of timber.

Speaking at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Friday, the committee chairman Ahmad Saeed Qazi said that about 0.2 million feet wood was transported annually to non-forest areas within Chitral and other districts, but people living in forest areas were not given any benefits in this regard.

He said that this practice had been continuing without any legal permit. He said that this timber business must be stopped as it was additional burden on the existing forest cover. He demanded of the government to take steps for checking illegal transportation of timber.

Flanked by vice-chairman Inzar Gul and some residents of Chitral, Mr Qazi said that there was proper arrangement for observation, monitoring and protection of forest under the chief conservator, department of environment.

He claimed that certain people who were talking about deforestation had no connection with forests and their protest campaign was based on political motives. Mr Qazi said that Chitral was receiving about 60 per cent royalty on timber. He said that the negative campaign could deprive people of concession facility availed by people of the valley. He said that transportation of firewood to non-forest areas should be under a working plan so that the local people could get its benefits. —Bureau Report

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