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ISLAMABAD – At a time when city managers are running spring tree plantation drives across the city, unfortunately timber mafia is also cutting down grown trees with the same speed in convenience as concerned field officers of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) ).
Although cutting trees from the forest in the capital is no longer a secret in an organized manner, now the trees that were grown and planted several years ago are in the rights of way of the main roads and of the green belts of the sectorial areas as well. increasing day by day. As shown in a video available with this writer, it is clear that a large number of grown trees have been systematically cut down along the main Kashmir highway near zero point interchange.
Sources inside the environment wing said that valuable species like Sheesham, planted several years ago, are now being stolen with the help of field officers as it is used to make expensive furniture. It can be seen in the video that only Sheesham trees were cut down while the rest of the less expensive trees were not removed, which shows that the trees were not stolen for domestic purposes but that it happened in an organized manner. Meanwhile, it has also been reliably learned that the authority did not have specific data in terms of the number, age and location of such trees grown, while the numbers of the plants are also greatly exaggerated by the anxious formations during seasonal campaigns.
An attempt was made to contact the Director General for the Environment, Irfan Khan Niazi to get his input on the matter, but he was not available to respond. Meanwhile, the city management while shifting their responsibility on the shoulders of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) on Monday decided to allow the board to recruit 400 fire fighters to control the spread of fire during the dry season.
City management remained in limbo over ongoing fire incidents during the past season as massive fires erupted repeatedly in the Margalla Hills National Park and to control it, CDA engaged untrained fire fighters on their own ; however, the responsibility in this regard is now given to the IWMB. A meeting was held in this regard at CDA under the chairmanship of Chief Commissioner Islamabad and Chairman CDA Noor ul Amin Mengal where it was decided that in the next fire season, the precautionary measures including engagement of fire fighters would be taken by the IWMB but The authority will provide the necessary funding and also help control the fire when necessary.