Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project’s employees in Chitral not paid for nine months

Special Reporter

Chitral: The Khyber  Pakhtunkhwa government was the first to register under Bonn Challenge to launch “Green Growth Initiative” of ‘Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project’ (BTTAP). District Chitral has also been added into this project, to launch afforestation drive, in which hundreds of thousands saplings were added to cover up 380,000 hectare of forest restoration challenge. Many areas , mostly, in upper Chitral were chosen under BTTAP initiative. Thousands of unemployed youths and women got employed under estimated 500, 000 green jobs created in the province.

Under this project $110 million has been spent which boosted local income market, provided jobs to unemployed youths,  and women empowerment purpose. Interestingly , additional $100 will be added to maintain this project up to 2020, but more or less 400 youth employees working in around 60 closures in Upper Chitral  have not yet received their 9 months salaries, and even they have been green signal of discontinuing  their services,though under this project, they have to work till June 2020. 

The Green Growth Initiative , in Chitral, was managed by Forest and Wildlife Department together to manage conservation purpose along afforestation initiatives in different land tracts in Upper Chitral.  According to reports around 400 conservators (Nigahban) worked tirelessly with both departments as watchmen and conservators in more or less 60 closures have now been made jobless. Even most of them , required in courts as witnesses , in different cases of illegal hunting and poaching of wildlife. According to a report Forest Department sent CDO for closure assessment in subdivision Mastuj region, he, according to Nigahban-cum-watchmen , without visiting hard and tough closures has given a report closing 60 closures in upper Chitral. This report got around 400 young locals unemployed.

This is also important to add, according to a these youth employees,  that none in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has received such call of unemployment.

BTTA project has been funded to be maintained till June,2020. Why it happens with them,  in some closures in upper Chitral, is beyond understanding , many of the employees told in a gathering in Buni. The pity is that they have not received past nine months salaries , and still they are doing their jobs in their respective areas, they also added.

The employees under Green Growth Initiative, in a gathering , unfolded that it’s something unknown to them between the District Officer of Forest and Wildlife Department , may be their ill intention, has made them unemployed prematurely, and without clear intimation to them from the concerned authorities in district level.

Dozens of these employees, gathered in Buni, told that they together would move to Chitral in protest on Monday, and administer press conference to get their demand for continuing jobs , and payment of nine months salaries, heard by concerned authorities at provincial level unheeded by district authorities.

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