Internal Affairs

Tree hacking to worsen climate change affects in Karachi: Altaf Shakoor

Karachi, June 07, 2022 (PPI-OT):Expressing serious concerns over hacking of tree in Karachi, Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor said Tuesday that reducing tree cover in the megacity would worsen affects of climate change for the Karachiites. Regretting recent cutting of thousands of trees along the route of Red Line rapid bus transit (RBT) in Karachi, he suggested in a statement that aggressive urban forestry in the megacity should be ensured to cope with rising temperatures due to climate change.

He said the megacity lacks proper tree cover and illegal occupation of parks and open space has gave the megacity a look of concrete jungle. He said illegal slums are spreading fast in Karachi as the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and other entities entasked to remove illegal settlements are turning the blind eye to this menace after getting huge bribes. Giving example, he said a land just in front of NED and Karachi University on main University Road earmarked for park is converted into illegal slum due to patronage of corrupt civic agencies.

Shakoor said similarly along up track of M-9 from Suhrab Goth to bus terminal has been encroached upon slum dwellers, vehicle mechanic and transporters. He said not only these two sites but hundreds of such other places in Karachi should be got vacated from squatters and converted into parks and green urban jungles.

He said the government of Sindh had announced to develop urban forests along the Layari and Malir rivers but solid work in this regard is not being witnessed. He said it is high time that the rain-fed rivers as well drainage Nullahs on the megacity should be lined with shaddy trees as they are ideal places for urban forestry due to presence of subsoil water.

Altaf Shakoor said that the apex court has already ordered to get vacated all parks, playgrounds and amenity plots from illegal occupation but the land mafia patronized by police, KMC and Sindh government is still enjoying impunity. He said land grabbing is the most lucrative business in the megacity and the corrupt government officials are patronizing it.

He said there was a plan to develop park on the Kati Pahari and surrounding hills of North Nazimabad but this hilly area is still barren. He said if the KMC and concerned DMC take serious effort this hilly area could be made a greener and pleasant looking shady area.

Shakoor said the megacity has already witnessed deadly heat waves but the government is not ready to learn any lesson from the past. He said after a little lived zeal about urban forestry in Karachi after such incidents there comes a prolonged lull, apatgy and inaction. He said both KMC and Sindh government has departments dedicated to tree plantation but their performance is not up to the mark.

He said though the megacity is densely populated but its long beach lines stretched from Mubarak Village to Bin Qasim port is an ideal place for developing dense mangrove forests and palm trees. He said M-9, National Highway, RCD highway and other major and minor roads and arteries of Karachi have ample space for planting hundreds of thousands trees. He said Pakistan Railways, cantonment board and DHA could also plants a large number of trees over their respective areas. He said ideally each and every street of the megacity could be tree-lined if the Karachiites show their sense of duty to serve their neighbourhoods. He said the concept of community tree planting sadly lacks in our megacity.

Altaf Shakoor urged Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who himself is fond of urban forestry concept, to entask the Sindh government’s forest department and City Administrator Murtaza Wahab to launch a special drive to dot all neighbourhoods of Karachi with lust green urban forests on the pattern of New York to proy the megacity with badly needed green cover so that it could better cope with harsh climate change and rising temperatures.

For more information, contact:

Press Secretary,

Pasban Democratic Party (PDP)

Pasban Central Secretariat

Office # 9, Five Star Center,

Block 11, University Road, Opp. Ibne Sina Hospital,

Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi

Tel: +92-21-34024480-81

Cell: +92-322-2212434