MURREE: Heavy fire broke out in the forests of Phaphril village near Expressway Danna and quickly burnt to ashes thousands of small plants of rare species and hundred precious trees.
Local population after seeing flames rushed to the jungle and started controlling the fire on self help basis.
On one hand timber mafia fells thousands of trees in alleged connivance with the forest department while on the other every year thousands of precious trees are burnt to ashes but no concrete measures have been taken to control this menace on permanent basis.
Saad Akhlaq Abbasi, a notable of the area, who himself played a role in controlling forest fire along with his village fellows, said forests were set on fire by land and timber mafia in connivance with the staffers of the departments concerned.
He said they called forest department staffers but they reached very late when hundreds of trees had already been burnt. He said a high-level inquiry must be held to get to the bottom of this heinous activity.
When this correspondent contacted Divisional Forest Office, Murree, Dibagh Abbasi, in-charge lease forest department, said there was no truth in the allegations and said whenever fire broke out our squad reach there in no time to control the fire.