Gilgit, August 17: Unknown people have put parts of a forest on fire in the Hurpai Nala area of Sai Bala, Jaglote, located within Gilgit district.
Manzoor Levi, a local political and social activist told Pamir Times that the forest may have been put on fire because of personal enmity. He said that some people had chopped down more timber than others and in revenge the forest was put on fire by some unknown people. He also said that some non-local laborers, working for local people on daily wages, were using machines to chop down trees in the region, in connivance with officials of the Forest Department.
According to Manzoor, currently 200 to 300 plants are being chopped down by the laborers who are using at least 35 plant chopping machines.
He said that while locals are blaming each other for the fire the officials of Forest Department have failed to reach the region and check the illegal activities.
Locals in Jaglote have accused the officials of Forest Department of taking bribes and deliberately turning a blind eye towards these illegal activities.
It is pertinent to note that massive chopping trees in Gilgit-Baltistan is illegal. However, these activities are going on due to lax governance and corruption in the Forest Department.