CHITRAL: The open auction organised by the wildlife department for trophy hunting of Kashmir markhor fetched a whopping Rs12.194 million.

A relevant official told Dawn on Monday that the two permits for trophy hunting were issued from Toshi game reserve and one in Gahiret Gol game reserve to the foreigners who will come here for hunting in February next year.

The official said 80 per cent of the fee would go to the local communities to be utilised on their collective welfare through the elected village conservation committees (VCCs).

The wildlife official said due to active participation of VCCs, the population of Kashmir markhor had grown to a comfortable density which had been declared endangered species in Chitral in early 80s, thus communities were involved in the conservation process.

Three permits issued to foreigners for hunting in February next

He said though different conservancies of Chitral supported hundreds of the trophy size markhors, the number was restrained by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of animals, an international treaty of which Pakistan is a signatory.

The official said the trophy hunting fee was only Rs4 million in early 90s, but the price increased three times since then, thereby increasing interest of the community in the conservation work.

TOURISM POLICE: District police officer Mohammad Furqan Bilal has said he has proposed to the authorities for introducing tourism police in the district due to the lowest crime rate and fabulous potential for tourism development.

Addressing an open kutchery in Drosh town, he said the people of Chitral were law abiding, because of which, a fraction of the police force could be used for promoting tourism.

He directed the police to resolve the people’s problems, and assured the participants of conveying their grievances related to other departments to the authorities concerned.

ROAD CLOSED: The road connecting the Karimabad valley to rest of the district has been closed for vehicular traffic for last one week, troubling the people.

Mohammad Yaqub, a member of the district council from Karimabad, told Dawn on telephone that a snow avalanche had blocked the road, affecting people, particularly patients, women and children. They said the road blockade had caused food shortages in the region.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018