CHITRAL, Dec 13: The inhabitants of Bumburate valley have demanded of the government to help stop the ruthless cutting of trees by contractors in the Acholga forest.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, the president of Tanzeem-i-Tahaffuz Huqooq Bumburate Sultan Wali, former union nazim Abdul Majid Qureshi and naib nazim Khurshid Ahmed alleged that some government contractors were felling trees in the forest in connivance with the forest officials denuding the valley.

They said the hand-picked members of the joint forest management committee (JFMC) were equally involved in the deforestation process. They feared that if the felling of trees on commercial scale went unchecked then the floods would wash away the scenic beauty of the Bumburate valley.

They warned that if the elements responsible for the deforestation were not made accountable, then the 8,000 residents of the valley would resort to violent means to stop the timber mafia from exposing the valley to floods.

They also demanded of the government to dissolve the local JFMC which had utterly failed to protect the forest. Earlier, hundreds of residents of Bumburate marched from the valley to Chitral Press Club, chanting slogans against the timber mafia. ROAD REPAIRED: A 15-kilometer-long road leading to the isolated valley of Golen near Chitral city has been repaired and opened to traffic after it was damaged by floods in July. Dawn

The villagers told on Monday it was not the government but the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), which rehabilitated the damaged infrastructure in the area.

The chairman of Koh Integrated Development Programme (KIDP) Abdul Ghaffar said that after being disappointed by the government, the locals approached the AKRSP for the restoration of the flood-hit infrastructure.