Karachi (PPI) - The plantation of imported alien species of trees, instead of indigenous ones, is harming our environment as they are not fit for our ecological system. The city district government Karachi (CDGK) has recently planted some one million Conocarpus trees in the city which would soon bring pollen and seasonal allergies in Karachi. This was said by chairman of NGO Subh-e-Nau Mrs. Shahida Kausar Farooq, addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday here. She said a few years back a Kachnar sapling was planted in Prime Minsiters House due to the efforts of Subh-e-Nau. She said a policy was devised at the government level that no foreign tree would be plated in the country in future as these trees are no fit for our ecosystem. She said unfortunately during the recent forestation campaigns, foreign trees were not only planted in PM House, but at various other parts of the country. In a recent meeting the federal minister environment told us that no foreign plant would be planted and we would plant our indigenous plants, she said, regretting this policy is not being implemented in letter and spirit. She slammed at City District Government Karachi (CDGK) for planting 1million Conocarpus plants, which she said have adversely affected the environment. Shahida Kausar Farooq said these plants deplete water and soil and affect human health. She said that these plants have given rise to pollen allergies and seasonal allergies amongst Karachiites. She added that these plants are also threatening asthma patients due to their widespread pollen. All of us know that we are facing water shortage for the last few years and deforestation is one of major reasons behind it, she said. She added that cutting of trees is also a reason behind less rains in the country. She recalled that it used to rain almost every day in Islamabad when forest cover there was good there but today citizens in Islamabad are longing for rains. She said even monsoon is still awaited after half July has already passed away. Our water dispute with India and our internal water problems between provinces show that how water shortage is going to affect us in coming next few years, she said. She added that India is constructing new dams every year and the time is not so far away when India would not give single drop of water to us and our River Indus would be dried up. We would have to find alternate sources before it is too late, she said adding we think there could be no other alternate except rains, and forestation is the best way to ensure good rainfalls. She said the federal minister for environment, Hameedullah Jan Afridi, had decided to observe a 'National Forestation Day on 18th August on the suggestion of NGO 'Subh-e-Nau, but the formal approval for this policy is mandatory from the Presidency, which is still awaited. We have been suggesting successive governments that the forestation day should be observed twice a year to improve the environment of the country and to fulfill the dream of a 'Green Pakistan, she said. She added that people could be converged at one platform by doing this and we would be able to spend our time and energy for this great cause, she added. In this regard we appeal to the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, to grant formal approval for observing 'National Forestation Day at the earliest so that preparation could be done to observe this day, she said. Shahida Kausar said that National Forestation Day could prove milestone in the history of Pakistan if each person out of 160 million people plant just one sapling. She added if we succeed in saving even 10 million of these plants the country could become greener with fast pace, adding it would be a record to plant 10 million saplings in one day. We strongly demand President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other rulers to take revolutionary decisions for water, health and environment sectors and motivate people for planting trees because extensive forestation is a must for our survival. She said that forestation campaigns should be made at district and union council level on the occasion of the National Forestation Day. She added that the set up of local government is a good system, provided used effectively. She added that local governments should select places at union council level and find out where forestation is required and the staff of local government should provide water, saplings and other required material for tree plantation to the citizens. She said that work on the same lines should be done in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar, besides other cities, towns, Katchi Abadis, villages and hamlets. She added that in first phase people should be presented gifts at individual and group level for doing forestation and institutions should be given gifts and prizes for doing plantation and saving plants. It is the right of every new child that he gets clean and better environment in his surroundings, she said. On the directives of president of Pakistan this year is being celebrated as the year for environment and many activities are underway for the betterment of environment, she said. It is necessary that these activities continue in future as well because environment could not be improved in a couple of days, she added. Undoubtedly present government is taking worthy steps for the betterment of the environment and in this connection the federal minister for environment, Hameedullah Jan Afridi, is very active, she said. We congratulate him for planting 500000 plants at Ketti Bender in a signle day and setting new world record, she added. We hope that he would continue his efforts for the betterment of environment with the same enthusiasm.