Upper Dir People Protest Over Not Getting Forest Royalty
UPPER DIR, 11 January: The people of Kalkot tehsil of Upper Dir on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration over not getting share in the income from forests.
The protesters blocked the road in front of the office of assistant commissioner Sheringal and chanted slogans against the district administration. The protesters said they were entitled to Rs21.17 million royalty for forests and the home ministry had also issued a notification for equal distribution of royalty amount among 8,000 people. However, they said, the Sheringal administration has distributed the money among few people and ignored others. They said they will stage a sit-in in front of the deputy commissioner office on Monday if they did not receive the royalty amount by Friday. They said they will even stage a sit-in in front of the Chief Minister House in Peshawar if their demand remained unfulfilled.
“We are demanding accountability of the people who have embezzled our money. The corrupt contractors should be made accountable,” a participant of the protest told TNN.
Another protester said people are agitating to get their right and they are not demanding any favours.
“Some disabled people and orphans are also part of our protest today who have no other source of income and live with the forest royalty amount. We will protest in front of the deputy commissioner office and Chief Minister House if our demand was not fulfilled,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Sheringal Farooq told TNN that the royalty amount was released before his appointment in the area. He said he has informed the deputy commissioner about the issue upon the request of the local people and he will take necessary action after getting direction from him.