Chitralis turn to firewood amid soaring LPG price.

CHITRAL -- The consumption of wood for heating and cooking has increased manifold in Chitral after the steep rise in prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and electricity.

A number of timber stallholders in the city told Dawn that the demand of oak and other species of wood had increased exponentially with the advent of winter and they were unable to meet the growing demand.

Haji Hazrat Faqir, a timber merchant on Booni Road, said he had been associated with the business for last 27 years, and observed fluctuation in demand during the five months of winter, but this year the demand had registered an abnormal increase.

He said about 95 per cent of the demand was for oak wood, which is taken from the forests of southern Chitral valleys, including Sheshi Koh, Ursoon, Damil and Arandu.

He cited the rising prices of LPG and electricity as the only reason for the increase in demand for wood. He said LPG had gone beyond the purchasing power of consumers, forcing them to switch over to wood for both heating and cooking.

'I personally know a number of my customers who had almost given up using wood during the last 10 years when LPG was made available in cylinders.

'Many of them have again...

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