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Strongmen, locals cutting down Kunduz forests

Strongmen, locals cutting down Kunduz forests

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Apr 11, 2017 - 19:33

KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Residents and officials say they are worried about illegal cutting down of forest trees in northern Kunduz province, asking the government to stop the practice.

The residents said some local people and border police personnel at the Sher Khan Port sold timber after cutting trees along the Amu River. He said the deforestation had caused the river to flow into farmland.

Ahmad Shah, a resident of Sher Khan Port in Kunduz, criticized the cutting of jungle and said the government was doing nothing to check the illegal business.

“Forests of Jems Kol and Barzangi areas of Sher Khan Bandar are cut down every year, this area relates to the border police commissary, border officials do not care about the forests and even they themselves cut the jungles,” he said.

Khairullah, a resident of Jungle area of Sher Khan Bandar, said trees were cut down every year by some military officials and powerful individuals.

“Deforestation causes the Amu River to inundate farmland and destroy crops on hundreds of hectares of land, we ask the government to stop this,” he said.

Provincial agricultureinfo-icon and livestock department confirmed the issue and said they were unable to prevent it.

Nabi Raoufi, the agriculture and livestock director, said most jungles were cut down by powerful individuals and local people in Kunduz, particularly in border districts including Imaminfo-icon Sahib and Qala Zal.

He said jungles existed in Imam Sahib, Chahar Dara, Qala Zal and Aliabad districts. Besides local people, strongmen also have a big hand in cutting of the forests, he said.

Police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Hameed Hamidi said everyone involved in illegal cutting of forests would be arrested no matter how much strong they were.

He said no credible sources had so far complained to police about deforestation. Police would take action against any person who violated the law.

Kunduz has jungle spread over around 40,000 hectares of land, with fruit trees covering 20,000 hectares of land.

mds/ma

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