Minister vows to protect marine environment
KARACHI: Federal Ports and Shipping Minister Kamran Michael inaugurated, on Saturday, mangroves plantation campaign and vowed to protect the marine environment.
Speaking at Karachi Port Trust’s (KPT) mangroves plantation ceremony held at a local hotel, he said that continuing destroying of mangroves has disturbed the marine environment.
He said that during the campaign 100, 000 timber plants will be planted over 1000 hectares of coastal belt to shield marine forests. He said the timber chopping has badly affected the natural hatcheries of marine animals and threatened the sea environment.
“Availability of at least 30,000 timber plants are always made sure for filling the space of chopped trees,” he told the participants of the mangroves plantation ceremony most of whom were schoolchildren.
He said that since 95 per cent of the country’s total trade is made through sea the timber plantation would help increase the beauty of sea.
The minister said the KPT has signed an agreement with Karachi Water and Sewerage Board for setting up a water treatment plant, called S-III, with a commitment to meet 33 per cent cost of the project’s total cost.
Federal and Sindh governments would also contribute 33 per cent finances each to the project, he added.
The untreated industrial waste and chopping of timber will have to be stopped at any cost as the country’s future was linked to the seaborne trade and marine environment, Michael added.
KPT Chairman Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed said the mangroves are the natural safeguard against the marine pollution, besides a safe breeding place for sea creatures.
He said the KPT is working on a permanent basis to protect the marine forests in line with its environment policy. He said the trust has founded its marine pollution control department in 1995 to protect mangroves forests.
He said mangroves plantation drive was an annual feature.
The KPT chief informed the minister that the trust has two patrolling boats to check illegal cutting of timbers, besides campaigns aimed at creating awareness about the significance of marine environment, trees and creatures, were also launched, periodically.
Later, the minister accompanied with KPT chairman, PPP’s provincial legislator, Owais Muzafar and schoolchildren sailed to the Chinna Creek to formally inaugurate the mangroves plantation drive.