36000 green trees felled to make way for power lines

28 Nov, 2017

CHITRAL: Over 3,600 green trees, including 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 its impact on the environment.

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 favor 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 such as along the riverbed. Officials concerned of the forest and other departments, when contacted by this reporter, who detailed 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 been passed an act regarding banning cutting of walnut tree that until getting a written No Objection Certificate from Forest department no one can cut a walnut tree even standing in his personal property. But in present scenario some 300 trees of walnut are also cutting by Wapda contractor.

Victims of Broze appeal to chief justice of Pakistan for taking suo moto action against Wapda as well as they appeal to Prime Minister of Pakistan, chairman wapda and chief minister KP for taking action against the survey team and contractor who cutting thousands of felled trees. .. GH Farooqi, 28 Nov 2017