Expressing grave concern over non-disbursement of royalty to forest areas in district Chitral, the royalty holders warned that they would stop remaining supply of woods, if the royalty payment was not disbursed to them forthwith.
Speaking at the Press Club on Friday, Haji Mohammad Shifa, a royalty holder along with locals of various forest areas of district Chitral, said that woods from Shishikohi with other forest region had almost transported to timber market in Chakdara, Malakand division according to legal procedure.
He, however, alleged that the authorities of Forest Development Corporation (FDC) had used delaying tactics in disbursement of royalty payments to forest areas in district Chitral, which had created great unrest among locals.
Shifa further said the royalty amount was deposited in a personnel bank account to earn interest from it, while officials of FDC were deliberately not disbursed payment to mint more and more interest and to take full advantage from the deposited royalty amount.
Owing to illegal practice by FDC officials, he maintained that royalty holders were sufferer in district Chitral.
Flanked by former Nazim Union Council ShishiKohi Chitral, Sher Mohammad Khan, Noor Mohammad and locals, Shifa said that the royalty holders also made contact with FDC Managing Director, but refused to address issue by telling them that he was not authorised to deal such matter. “If a person was not authorised to deal with the matter, why he is serving on a key position,” Shifa questioned. He alleged that the delaying tactics used by MD FDC aimed at using royalty account for his personnel interest, which was not acceptable to them. “We will not tolerate any deceptive ways to deprive royalty holders from their legitimate right,” he warned.
Shifa further said that most of forest populated areas totally dependent on royalty, because of no other source of income generation, whereas the forest localities also lacked adequate health and education and other livelihood facilities.
He demanded of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to take immediate note of allegedly corruption in Forest Development Corporation and issue order to disburse royalty among forest region in district Chitral.
The royalty holders threatened that if their demands were not fulfilled, they would compel to stop transportation of remaining woods to timber market in Chakdara, Malakand division.