KARACHI - Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Commissioner Dr Syed Saifur Rehman said on Friday the city was facing an acute shortage of trees and greenery; therefore, it needed a lot of plantation to curb environmental pollution.

He was presiding over a meeting at his office on Friday that was attended by Senior Director for Coordination Masood Alam, Deputy Commissioner (West) Shazia Jaffar, Assistant Commissioner (Maripur) Abdul Ghafoor and other officers.

The metropolitan commissioner said that in order to deal with the challenge a state of emergency had been declared at the Parks and Horticulture Department of the KMC and leaves of staff had been cancelled. Tree plantation and beautification of central islands and areas along major roads and corridors shall continue even during holidays, he said. He warned that negligent officials would face disciplinary action including stoppage of their salary.

He said that “we need to make our city green and beautiful like we maintain our own homes and we need to do more and more tree plantation”. He said the staff should inform the officials about what they need and their needs would be met immediately. Meanwhile, the health and medical services department of the KMC has issued a warning to citizens on the directive of City Mayor Wasim Akhtar about prevention of Congo virus ahead of Eidul Azha when sacrificial animals are brought to the city for sale in large numbers.

According to the health advisory, citizens should cover their faces and hands during their visit to cattle markets and wear light colour clothes with full sleeves so that any tick can be seen easily. They should check their clothes and skin carefully for ticks. Gloves should be worn during inspection and slaughtering of animals. Try to limit contact with animals as much as possible. Use insect repellents to save yourselves and your animals from ticks.

Avoid eating and drinking during visit to cattle market or carry boiled and filtered water for drinking. Don’t squeeze any tick with bare hands as its infected blood can cause spread of Congo virus. Butchers should use gloves while slaughtering animals because sacrificial animals are sometimes imported from endemic areas. Wash your hands after contact with animals and its blood. Proper and ventilated sites should be allocated for animals in the house for combined slaughtering.

The water for the use of animals should be stored properly and kept covered after use. Dispose of properly the blood and remnants of animals. There should be proper sanitation at the site of animal keeping and fumigation is advised at place of slaughtering where animals are kept before and during Eid days.