Islamabad - On the direction of Chairman CDA Maroof Afzal, the environment wing of the authority has increased night patrolling and operation against illegal cutting of trees.

Member Environment CDA Mustafain Kazmi talking to APP said that illegal cutting, transportation and sale of trees in the capital city was being checked by the civic body in areas under it. During the last two months special teams of environment wing have confiscated illegally cut trees and taken necessary legal action as per Forest Act 1927, he said.

Kazmi said that CDA had deployed sufficient workforce in the hilly as well as urban areas, including security guards and forest guards, who act against people cutting down trees as per the law. He said that the chairman CDA had directed the environment wing to take action as per law including confiscation and imposition of fine against illegal cutting and transport of trees.

The chairman has further directed to submit weekly progress report regarding action against illegal cutting of trees in Islamabad, he added. Due to scarcity of natural gas in winter and high prices of firewood, some residents have started cutting trees illegally in the city said another official of CDA. “Some people who cut branches of trees are damaging the plants and trees on the green belts, Margalla Hills and public parks of the capital,” he added. A resident Rauf Ahmed said some people rooted out small plants and cut branches of trees at night to use them as firewood or to sell them in market. Another resident Yaseen Ali said there were some villages in the foothills, for which wood from Margalla Hills was a livelihood. Fines were not enough to stop them from damaging plants and trees worth millions, but strict action should be taken to stop them from destroying trees, he added.

The residents urged the authorities concerned to take measures and stop illegal cutting of trees which was causing losses worth millions to the authority.