Green cover: Top court seeks statement on cutting of trees in Karachi
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has sought a concise statement within 15 days over a petition against the cutting of hundreds of trees along the roads of Karachi.
Last week, a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmad had passed an order on a constitutional petition of Pakhar Welfare Association Karachi. The plea requested the court to direct federal and provincial governments to take steps to protect trees and plants.
The petitioner named the federal, Sindh and Karachi district governments, the Karachi commissioner, Cantonment Board executive officer Faisal, senior director transport and communication KMC, director advertisement KMC, Naval Commander Karachi, Naval Commander Johar and advertising agency Next Tier as respondents.
The petition stated that some of the respondents were backing elements responsible for spoiling the environment of the city.
The petition claimed that instead of growing trees to improve the deteriorating green cover of the metropolis, provincial authorities, for their vested interest, were eliminating trees along the roads.
It claimed that Next Tier cut down more than 1,200 trees from both sides of the Karsaz Road and Shara-e-Faisal simply because they were blocking the view of advertisement billboards.
The petitioner also referred a news report of The Express Tribune dated October 7, 2015 about the incident of unlawful cutting of roadside trees, but no enquiry was conducted in this matter.
It is further stated that the provincial authorities went against regulations and allowed Next Tier to chop-down trees on the green belt and also allowed an unnecessary overhead bridge opposite to the naval base of PNS Karsaz.
Two overhead bridges already exist in the area, the petition pointed out, but people are not allowed to use them due to security risk to the naval base.
The overhead bridge was built, from the public kitty, solely for placing hoarding of Next Tier clients, the petition said.
The petition contends that facilitation to advertising company is violation of laid down rules regulations enumerated in Advertisement Rules and Regulation Act 2003, adding that the court has already taken suo motu notice about the existence of dangerous hoarding and billboards on roads.