Fate of Lahore Canal trees to be learnt today - Pakistan Today

Fate of Lahore Canal trees to be learnt today

The Supreme Court (SC) will announce its reserved verdict in a suo motu case and several petitions against the Lahore Canal Bank Road Widening Project which required the felling of trees today (Thursday).
Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani will announce the judgment. The judgment was reserved on August 15. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had taken suo motu notice of the project in 2009 and restrained the Punjab government from cutting trees on either side of the canal bank. Later, the Lahore Bachao Tehrik (LBT), Lahore Conservative Society and civil society organisations became party in the case by filing separate petitions.
Before the verdict was reserved, the court was informed by the Punjab government that it had agreed to recommendations made in Dr Pervez Hasan’s report. Pervez had served as a mediator between the government and the stakeholders. The court was informed by Punjab government’s counsel Salman Butt that the designated area of canal bank for cutting trees was 2.5 km from Doctors’ Hospital to Thokar Niaz Beg.
It was further informed that the area contained 460 trees, including 10 eucalyptus trees, which had been banned by the government because they take out large quantities of water. It was submitted that the government would plant 100 trees in place of each tree removed for widening the road.
The counsel said traffic problems and pollution would reduce after widening the road, adding that the new road would help people get easy access to hospitals. Besides Dr Pervez Hasan, LBT convener Imrana Tiwana, also an architect, Prof Kamal Mumtaz, Ali Hassan of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and a number of civil society members had also appeared before the court.
The petitioners insisted that widening the road would not be the correct solution to the traffic problems. They named some underpasses and said their construction was faulty which had deprived the use of service roads adjacent to them. They said urban transport and bus services for schools and colleges could address the traffic problem. During the hearing, the court had remarked that development could not be stopped in the name of environmental protection but there must be a balance between them.

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One Comment;

  1. Ali Khan said:

    Planting 100 trees for every tree flattened is a great target. This would increase the tree number from 460 to 46,000. Very attractive proposition in my view. But it will take ten or more years for the new trees to exceed the present oxygen output of the current trees. I hope that land can be found to plant this huge number of trees. Target is very attractive. All of Lahore should be targeted for a massive tree plantation drive.

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