36,000 trees cut for power lines’ installation

CHITRAL-Over 3,600 green trees including of walnut, apricot, grapes and peach have been chopped in the Broz village of Chitral for laying the transmission lines of Golen powerhouse in complete disregard to environmental issues.
Talking to this correspondent, residents of Broz, including Nusrat Azad, Suhrab Khan and Eng. Fakhre Azam, said the high voltage transmission lines would pass over the residential houses for which the greenery is being removed. They said agricultural land and houses of three families were badly affected by the lines. They said they had also moved a local court which gave a verdict in their favour but the court order was not being implemented by the Wapda and district administration.
They alleged that the survey team in order to benefit the contractor had deliberately chosen the path of the transmission lines over private properties even though it could have been laid over barren land along the riverbed.
When contacted, Sub divisional forest officer Muhammad Yousaf only expressed regrets and said under government rules even a single private tree cannot be felled without taking permission from the department concerned and giving a valid justification.
A forest officer disclosed that provincial assembly of KP have passed an act regarding banning cutting of walnut tree that until getting a written No-Objection Certificate from the Forest Department. No one can cut a walnut tree even standing in his personal property, he said. But in present scenario, some 300 trees of walnut are also being cut by a Wapda contractor.
Victims of Broze appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan for taking suo motu action against Wapda. They also appealed to Prime Minister of Pakistan, Wapda chairman and chief minister of KP to take action against the survey team and contractor who have cutt thousands of trees.

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