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LAHORE: Lahore High Court while hearing a petition seeking a ban on felling trees without any legislation, moved by Advocate Sheraz  Zaka, issued notice to DG Parks & Horticulture Authority(PHA) to appear in person to explain as to what steps have been taken by the government to avert cutting of trees mainly by the housing societies. Justice Shaid Karim while hearing the case observed that the Apex Court had already given directives on the issue.

Earlier in April this year in a similar hearing regarding the cutting of mango trees in Multan, The LHC imposed a ban on cutting of trees in Punjab observing that the housing societies were playing havoc with agricultural land as well as the environment and that the Environmental Protection Agency had become a silent spectator. At the start of this week, a Senior Civil Magistrate in Islamabad imposed a fine of Rs1.5 billion and three months jail to the CEO of a housing society. The CEO of the housing society was also directed to plant Trees worth one billion or face a further six months imprisonment.

Pakistan is already facing a shortage of forest and there is a dire need to carry out a large-scale plantation in the country. But Large scale urbanization and removal of trees by housing societies is becoming a serious issue. Deforestation and  Rapid felling of trees are turning out to be one of the major causes of environmental changes like increasing temperature, pollution, and disturbance in the natural ecological system. Unfortunately, our successive governments have never paid any heed to such an important issue. It,s high time we should take the issue seriously as it is a matter of the existence of our future generation.



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