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January 24, 2021

The ruination of a natural green habitat

Islamabad

January 24, 2021

While the present government is making efforts to plant more trees to improve the environment, the Authority which owns some acres of land is busy chopping them down, right under the Prime Minister’s nose, as they say! This is what is going on, as far as can be seen, in what was a protected area and on inquiry it was found that the cutting down of trees is just to make a ‘model forestry park’ whatever that means. Whither billion tree tsunami? Why cut down trees to plant more trees that will take time to grow?

Situated along Murree Road, on a side road named Korang leads to a developed area of Bani Gala, the place is known as Korang Park -- it is understood that the original name of the area is Malpur and it had been reserved for a Botanical garden in original plans. This green area has been the subject of encroachment and conflict in the past as well, as influential persons wanted to grab the land and turn it into a commercial area. Now it appears that the authority that owns the land is itself destroying it or has done so, as looking at the area, the clearing of forest cover seems to have been going on for some time.

The thought occurs that the environmental impact of clearing this area has not been considered as disturbing the natural habitat will finish the local wildlife and the forest of Sheesham trees and the many varieties of bushes that grow there. The birds, including partridges, will disappear, as will the other animals which live here -– wild rabbits and other small creatures -- even a fox now and again -- that could be spotted while going for a walk, or a drive through the narrow road to get to the other side of this natural reserve.

There is already a big park a couple of kilometres away and another man-made one is certainly not needed at the expense of a natural green area which is better all round - for the environment and the fauna, as well as the population of human beings who live in the housing development beyond that is fast becoming a concrete jungle as more and more buildings go up.