Friday December 02, 2022

Rawalpindi losing plants, green spaces

September 27, 2022

Trees contribute to the quality of life, beauty, sustainability, and rehabilitation of our environment and the human condition. Plants, crops, and green spaces sustain and enhance the beauty of our homes and communities and reduce our carbon footprint.

“Rawalpindi appears to have no policy regarding plantation of trees and safeguarding green spaces. Tree cutting and usurping green belts by the land mafia has been unable to create public furore except off and on media reports,” says Shaheer Ali.

“In addition, what often goes unnoticed is the concretization of trees, a practice that results in strangling a tree. Their slow and gradual killing. The concrete layer completely closes off the base, leaving no room for the tree to widen,” says Jawad Haider, a botanist. “Construction and repair work often engulf trees in-between spaces meant for roads, footpaths, and parking. Thick impenetrable concrete covers the tree floor. . The roots are blocked from reaching the soil and hence, nourishment,” says Konain Zehra.

“I have noticed the concretized trees at the many places in the city. Why don’t they clear the surface layer of concrete around the trees, when the concerned department knows that it damages the trees,” says Beenish Fatima. “The relevant department should come to the rescue of trees in different parts of the city. They should remain environmentally active to stay alert. Why such scenes are overlooked and removal of concrete is delayed,” questions Khurram Abbas.

“Older trees are able to sustain themselves for longer, as their deeper roots can reach distant sources of water and nutrition. The tree might not die immediately, but ultimately it will. However, the effect on younger trees is immediate, leaves fall off and the tree dries out,” says Pakeeza Batool. “When the process of de-concretization will take place? Several old trees in the city have dried out and become dead. They pose a danger to pedestrians. They should be removed because of their dead or dangerous state,” says Itrat Hasan.

“There is always no link between the Horticulture Department and Roads Department. When Shah Khalid Colony Service road was under construction, they cut off the trees on the roadside giving an ugly look to the area. When roads are made they forget to leave space for trees,” says Farman Ali.