One reason why the present floods have caused so much more devastation is our own merciless cutting of forests. Planting new forests in the basin of rivers strengthens embankments. But the growth of our cities has always exceeded growth of our trees and the demand for more wood has taken the axe to our forests. They say nearly 25% of the total land in a country should have a forest cover. Sadly, green in Pakistan stretches no more than barely 4% of the total area. In Sindh, it is not more than two percent. Despite that, authorities have been ruthlessly felling trees in interior as well as around Karachi, transforming the city into a jungle of concrete, devoid of all freshness that greenery and sunshine teem together. With the number of vehicles on roads of Karachi ever on the increase, the total emission from gasoline, diesel, LPG and CNG during 2000-2001 was 2,503,791.52 tons/per year. With the rise in number of vehicles touching 1.4 million in 2005, it is necessary to make more parks, a lot of parks and grow trees, whole jungles, to combat this rising storm-cloud of pollution over the city. In the Mustafa Kamal era, Karachi had been going green. He spent his last two years beautifying the city, making huge green belts alongside the roads and renovating a lot of parks. Recently, President Asif Ali Zardari has also given a green signal to the Green Karachi Project that aims at turning hundreds of acres of wasteland in the city into lush green parks besides massive tree plantation alongside 24 major roads traversing through the city. Mr Zardari has advised the government that the project be undertaken on public-private partnership. Under this Rs 22 billion project, Karachi alone would have around 20 million saplings planted to meet the international criterion of having one tree for each person. But all this is just limited to planning as yet as we don't see any trees growing in the city of now. The monsoon season is just about to end. About time we all thought of planting one tree in our house. Better still, plant one outside this season---in your street. -S. WAJAHAT HASAN, Karachi, August 28.