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July 2, 2015

Citizens vow to prevent further denudation

Karachi

July 2, 2015

Karachi
Moved by the news in this daily of the destructive role the mad chopping off of trees in the city played in
the recent multiple heatstroke deaths, a group of concerned citizens convened a meeting under the umbrella of Hara Bhara Karachi at the Institution of Engineers of Pakistan (IEP) Wednesday afternoon to consider ways and means of preventing such catastrophes in the future.
They came up with suggestions for putting an end to the frantic denudation of the city.
The meeting, chaired jointly by Nighat Mir and Durriya Kazi, was of the view that all of us had to endeavour to make Karachi a greener city and felt that felling of trees, just to accommodate high-rises and flyovers or make room for advertisement hoardings, be made a culpable offence. They also suggested bringing in the NGOs and other citizens in town and initiate a process of documentation.
“The real game changers are the requisite organizations. We should get them on board,” said Nighat Mir.
Moving slightly away from denudation and considering other measures for staving if such tragedies in the future, Durriya Kazi said that in the construction of buildings and other installations by the roadside, suitable materials material be used. She also called for adequate media projection of programmes to combat denudation.
The meeting agreed to make landscape artist Komal Parvez to coordinate with the forest department in the matter of reforestation and other matters pertaining to restore greenery in the city.
Amra Javed of Shehri was of the view that the staffers of the city’s maintenance department were totally untrained and hacked trees that were supposed to be pruned most meticulously. She also called for declaring felling of trees an offence.
Roland D’Souza of Shehri cited the example of a park in Saddar which was such a lush, restful area for citizens but now had concrete structures and queried as to how one could combat this corruption in places that

matter.
Another participant cited the case of the builders’ syndicates who had pots and pots of money to squander and bribe the concerned officialdom to chop off trees to make room for their structures, as also the advertising mafia who bribed officials to affix their hoardings at places of their liking and wondered how these forces could be combated.
Others who spoke were Farhat Adil of the IEP, social activist Naeem Sadiq, Shahid Abdulla, and Mir Raza Ali.

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