JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Trees chopped off and most part of the forest has been damaged due to the mining of talc in the Sherzad district of eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Thursday.
Qari Syed Agha, deputy head of the Land Resources Section at the Agriculture Department, said deforestation had happened in the Kadikhelo locality of Sherzad district by companies involved in the mining of talc.
Qari Osama, the Ushar and Zakat Affairs head of the Agriculture Department, visited the area and witnessed that most parts of the forest trees were chopped off by mining companies.
Nangarhar Environmental Protection Director Feroz Mohammadzai said companies involved in deforestation have licenses from the mining ministry but they did not get licenses from the Environmental Protection Department.
He said: “The issue is old, mining companies removed trees to uncap natural resources and still it is happening.”
According to Mohammadzai they did not held executive powers and were involved in policy making therefore direct action had not been taken but the issue was shared with the Governor’s Office.
Nangarhar Petroleum and Mining Department Director Mufti Abdul Hameed Akhundzada said trees were chopped off in Sherzad district during mining, the action was illegal.
He said traders assured him that in the future they will take care of trees.
Abdul Wahab Khogyani, a talc businessman, said deforestation had been strictly banned by the Talc Processing Factories Association and efforts were on to plant trees in areas where it was chopped off.
It is pertinent to mention that thousands of people are involved in the mining, process and business of talc in Nangarhar.