CBF workers cut down several trees in Gulistan-e-Jauhar
KARACHI: The residents of Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block 12 woke up to the sound of chainsaw and heavy machinery Sunday morning, as more than 40 trees were trimmed while several were completely chopped off, claimed a resident, Azeem Qadir.
“As I looked out from my window, I saw men perched on neem trees, chopping its branches,” added Qadir. The trees were cut by the workers of Cantonment Board Faisal (CBF) on the dual carriageway between Gulistan-e-Jauhar Blocks 12 and 13, leading towards Pehlwan Goth from Rado Bakery.
The artery is considered to be one of the well-maintained roads in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. Residents claimed that this road has more greenery as compared to other arteries in the area. They alleged that other than cutting many trees from the top, the CBF workers chopped off several trees from the root.
Another resident, Muhammad Fahim, told The Express Tribune that they have no idea as to why these trees were chopped off. However, he added that K-Electric had some issues because the electricity wires used to get entangled in the tree branches. It seems like the CBF workers, taking it as an opportunity, chopped off as many trees as they could in order to obtain wood to sell it, he said. Fahim added that few of these trees have been chopped off from the root and they will never grow back again. The trees included neem and Conocarpus, he said.
Several coaching centres are located on the artery along which the trees were planted. A van driver said that when he came to the area to drop off students to a coaching centre on Sunday, the road was blocked as huge piles of trimmed branches were strewn on the road. He added that these trees used to provide shade to many people like him, including rickshaw drivers.
According to Zahid Farooq of Urban Resource Centre, which is a non-profit organisation, cutting down trees is one of the evil plans of timber mafia. He added that the timber mafia has contacts with people working in local bodies’ institutions, who are asked to get them as much wood as they can. For instance, if the workers are asked to chop down five trees, they take it as an opportunity and cut down 50 trees instead in order to earn more money, he claimed, adding that this is a violation of law.
Urging the civic institutions to plant more trees and to make it their priority, he said that neem, which has many benefits and cures for various infections, is one of the trees that is getting extinct in the city. He added that the city needs more neem trees, while we are only left with Conocarpus trees that are of no use and consume more water from the ground.
Meanwhile, CBF vice-chairperson Shahadatullah told The Express Tribune that their workers are not involved in any such activity and they are directed to cut down trees only when it is required and necessary. He added that it is possible that during such operations, individuals take it as an opportunity to cut down trees for wood. Shahadatullah added that he will visit the area to personally to witness the condition.