Representative Image (Photo Credit - Reuters)
Representative Image (Photo Credit - Reuters)

Billion-tree afforestation project workers not paid since May 2019

ANI | Updated: Oct 23, 2021 22:51 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 23 (ANI): The workers of the Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project in Upper Chitral have not received their salaries for the last two years, since May 2019.
About 200 people were hired by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government to look after saplings planted under the project but the workers were not paid, reported Dawn.
Israrullah, Wali Khan and Hakim Ali (representatives of workers) said that 214 Nigahbans (caretaker) were hired by the forest and wildlife departments in 2016.
They were tasked with looking after the newly planted saplings and checking to poach in specific mountain blocks declared as enclosures.

The government had initially entered into an agreement with the Nigahbans that their salaries (Rs15,000 per month) would be paid upon verification of their work every three months. But the pays were not released to the workers regularly as promised, reported Dawn.
"The forest and wildlife departments after clearing our dues in 2019 told us to continue working till 2023," the statement said. However, the representatives added, for the last over two years the Nigahbans had not been paid salaries.
The representatives appealed to the authorities concerned to release their dues otherwise they would be compelled to launch a protest once again.
When contacted, the district heads of the forest and wildlife departments, Farhad Ali and Altaf Ali Shah, said the Nigahbans had been hired by the government for three years under an agreement that expired in 2019, reported Dawn.
They said the workers were paid their salaries in 2019 after which they were no longer on the government payroll. (ANI)