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May 23, 2020

Pioneer horticulturist objects to PHA plantation

Lahore

May 23, 2020

LAHORE:After allegations of unprofessional tree plantation by Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) by its own senior member, PHA’s former DG criticised recent plantation done by PHA along Orange Line Metro Train Project as well as in other city locations.

In a letter written to Punjab Chief Secretary, Muzaffar Ali Khan Kharral, Additional Director General Horticulture (r), Lahore Development Authority (LDA) pointed out unprofessional skills of PHA.

Muzaffar Ali Khan Kharral is the pioneer horticulturist of Lahore who in 1976 designed, planned and executed most of the city’s plantation. Presently, most of the well-grown old trees in the Lahore city were proposed and planted by him.

“Lahore is always famous for its gardens, parks and green belts with fascinating landscape and PHA played a vital role in maintaining the standard,” he said in his letter adding recently he observed plantation along a very prime project of PHA (Orange Line Metro Train Multan Road, Lahore).

“The selection of species of plants and their way of plantation is entirely different from the PHA’s repute. A very thick plantation will not be able to give fruitful results,” he said and maintained that he cannot imagine seeing Guava plants planted only one foot apart. The same happening is with Motia, Fig, and Roses etc.

It is pertinent to point out that most of the plants have decayed and remaining ones breathing their last in such a polluted area of traffic smoke. He said the spacing of trees/plants was imperative topic of horticulture but the executors seemed ignorant from the subject. It was all wastage of precious money of the nation and sources like labour, irrigation, transportation, plant sapling etc. etc, he said. Talking about other plantation in Lahore, he said “Whenever I enter Muslim Town Scheme to reach my house from Sheikh Zayed Hospital, It makes my blood boil to see a large number of Guava plants planted under the dense shade of beautiful trees of Beri Patta and Gul-e-Nishtar. It’s my honest opinion that these Guava trees plantation carried out against the scientific approach of ornamental horticulture,” he stated.

He said any horticulturist cannot be able to see the plantation in the central medians of Johar Town Housing Scheme and in the green belts along Lahore Branch Canal (LBC) from Jalo to Thokar Niaz Baig.

“Fig, Guava, Chinese Lemon, Jujuba (Bere) trees are planted haphazardly in the medians which depict very unskilled, un-trained, un-planned, un-pleasant and un-professional approach of this plantation,” he alleged adding selection of right species planting on the right site is the basic principle of plantation which is not available on these sites. In view of the above, it is requested that a committee of the horticulture experts may kindly be constituted to inquire into the matter and assess the loss of government exchequer. The committee may also be advised to submit their findings to enable the PHA to recover the loss. Muzaffar Kharal also sent copies of his letter to Provincial Housing Minister, secretary, PHA chairman, vice-chairman, adviser to chief minister on PHA, DG PHA, DG LDA, Imrana Tiwana of Lahore Bachao Tehreek and Ibrar Mumtaz, President Horticulture Society of Pakistan.

When contacted, a senior official of PHA confirmed receiving of the letter and said that a committee would soon be constituted to inquire into the allegations levelled by PHA’s board member and pioneer horticulturist.