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Daily Times

Published Date: Mar 13, 2016

CDA to plant 450,000 saplings in metropolis

ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority (CDA) plans to plant 450,000 saplings in the federal capital in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and various institutions.
According to an official, out of 450,000 saplings, CDA would plant 300,000 saplings on its own. The saplings of Alestonia, Silver Oak, Legustornea, Argun and Gab bets etc would be planted in different areas of the federal capital.
While giving details, he said that CDA would also plant 225,000 plants in the rural areas of the city while 75,000 saplings would be planted in the urban areas particularly in different residential sectors, median strips of avenues, green belts along major highways and parks to eventually help enhance natural beauty of the federal capital.
CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal had already inaugurated the Spring Tree Plantation Campaign by planting a sapling at F9 Park.
Meanwhile, CDA is introducing biodegradable plastic bags for the collection of household garbage, which is a major step towards the elimination of plastic pollution from the capital city.
A sum of Rs 665 million has been allocated for developing infrastructure of sector C15 consisting of Mauza Sang Jani, Sarai Madhu and Sarai Kharbuza. The sector covering an area of 7,448 kanals has been acquired through an award announced on December 2, 2008 on Land Sharing Policy 2005.
CDA has vacated 1,000 Kanals of state land from illegal occupants as 80 percent landowners had been compensated. While remaining land owners have been asked through public notices to collect their rights and abandon the occupation in favour of CDA within 15 days so that development plan could be finalised. CDA has completed possession of land in sector C15 and C14 and fence is being erected to block encroachments.
On a separate note, rapid cutting of trees in the federal capital is causing a major environmental degradation and the situation may further deteriorate in the coming years if attention is not paid to the issues related to climate change.
Sustainable Policy Development Institute (SDPI) leading environmental expert Kashif Salik said that the trees play a critical role in regulating climate through the means of carbon cycle.
While expressing serious concern over the fast illegal cutting of trees, he said that the residents of slums are fully relying on firewood for cooking and keeping themselves warm in the winter season.
He further said that the tree cutting in the capital is harmful for the environment and pollution could reach at alarming levels if Capital Development Authority (CDA) does not plant more trees in the capital city and its surroundings. Lack of trees could also cause diseases such as sunstrokes and headaches, he added. Kashif said that after seas, forests are the second largest storehouse of carbon adding that the trees remove carbon from the atmosphere as they grow while storing carbon in leaves, woody tissue, roots and organic matter in soil.
He said that the provision of alternative source of energy to the slum dwellers could greatly help protect vegetative cover that is a vital ingredient of natural environment.
Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency’s senior official said that due to widespread cutting of trees and rapid urbanisation, the temperature in the capital city has started to regularly cross 46 degrees in summer season.
He said that the environment in the capital city is deteriorating because of new constructions and uprooting of trees.Source: