Islamabad - On the direction of Chairman CDA Maroof Afzal the Environment Wing of the Authority has imposed more than Rs200,000 fine on people involved in illegal tree cutting in the capital during the last two months.

During the last two months the teams of Environment Wing have confiscated illegally cut trees and taken necessary legal action as per the Forest Act 1927.

Member environment Mustafain Kazmi talking to this agency that illegal cutting, transportation and sale of trees in the capital city is being checked by the specially deployed `sufficient’ workforce in the hilly and urban areas.

He said number of security and forest guards have been increased manifold who act against people cutting down trees as per the law. “Moreover operation and night patrolling against outlaws involved in illegal tree cutting has been increased,” he added.             

He said that Chairman CDA has 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. He sad that 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 said. Mujtaba Abbasi, a resident of G-7/2 sector, said some people rooted out small plants and cut branches of trees at night to use it as firewood or sell it in markets. Another resident, Tehseen 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 capital residents urged the concerned to take measures and stop illegal cutting of trees which was causing losses worth millions to the authority.