Over two years after it was found that some government officials were involved in graft in the billion tree tsunami tree plantation project in the province, no action has been taken against them.
An inquiry report which had been submitted to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly had found that officials of the forest department had been found guilty of embezzling in the Billion Tree Tsunami (BTT) project in the Kalam valley.
The report showed that in 2016-17, contracts had been signed with six nurseries worth Rs5.52 million for the supply of saplings. The money was transferred to the nurseries through crossed cheques.
However, after complaints of irregularities in the projects were raised by the opposition parties, an investigation was initiated against the Kalam Community Development Officer and other officials involved in the project on April 30, 2018. A report for the inquiry confirmed the graft and recommended that departmental action should be initiated against the officials involved.
The report had also been shared with the Malakand District Forest Officer.
However, despite the passage of two years, no action has been taken against the officials who were found guilty of financial irregularities.
In March 2018, the apex anti-graft watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), had decided to formally investigate K-P’s BTT plan. The board of the bureau had unanimously decided to investigate the relevant authorities of the provincial government.
Issues in the project had been raised by former K-P Mines and Minerals minister Ziaullah Afridi.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2020.
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