ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday directed all the provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to submit reports about the plantation of trees in riverine and canal banks.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing of a suo moto notice regarding the plantation of trees on both sides of roads, railway lines, and motorways. 

The court also directed the Secretaries Irrigation and Forests of all the provinces and ICT to appear before the court on the next date of hearing. 

During the proceedings, the Chief Justice observed that the provinces and the ICT have not complied the court’s earlier orders while the federation and the Sindh governments have also not filed reports about the status of Nai Gaj Dam.

Additional Advocate General Qasim Chohan informed the court that 200,000 trees have been planted in the province. 

Justice Gulzar said that it all seemed to be on the papers as no data has been provided where the trees were planted. He said that all the trees in Murree and Nathiagali have been cut down and it has destroyed its tourism attraction.

The Chief Justice noted that due to cutting of trees the weather is changing and the glaciers are melting. He said that the trees protect the canal land.

Justice Faisal Arab noted that in Sindh’s riverine areas, there are no trees on the State lands. Justice Ijaz said that the Sindh government has legislated to protect those whom the forest lands were allotted in the past. He inquired from the AAG Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) that what happened to 1 billion tree tsunami? However, the AAG did not respond to it.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing of this case for four weeks for further proceedings.