Minister for CADD takes notice of trees cutting on embassy road

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP):Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Thursday took strict notice of cutting of trees at the Embassy Road, and directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to submit report on the same day.
CDA officials submitted report on the issue and briefed the Minister about the urgent need to expand the Embassy Road and the measures taken to mitigate the environmental impact, a news release said here.
The project director said that the increasing number of vehicles using Embassy Road in the past few years created severe problem to commuters as long queues of vehicles are seen on the road. In order to ease the pressure of traffic, expansion of Embassy Road was inevitable.
CDA briefed that the Master Plan of CDA contains clear provisions for the expansion of Embassy Road and reasonable wide space was left vacant all along the road for this purpose in the Master Plan. Trees were planted at the vacant place left for the expansion of road. The Project Director of CDA refuted the claims of some activists that the expansion of the road is being made on the land designated as Green Area.
He also said that the plan to expand the Embassy Road is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it contains several measures to mitigate the effects on the environment.
He said that for every tree cut for the expansion of road, ten new plants will be planted. 2500 new trees will be planted in place of the 245 trees which are being cut in the process. He said that instead of planting small saplings, CDA environment wing will plant small plants of 8-10 feet height for which budgetary provisions are made in the PC-I.
Project Director of CDA said that the environmental impact of new trees will be better than the previous trees. The trees which fell were 35-40 years old and many were near completion of their natural life. Such trees fall down in winds and storms causing loss to property and life.
He said that almost 25% of trees cut were Paper Mulberry and Eucalyptus trees which are now prohibited species and the former is the source of respiratory allergies among Isloites. Every year five lakh new trees are planted by CDA in its tree-planting campaigns which are under-taken twice a year.
He said that the green profile of the Seventh Avenue and Islamabad Highway after their expansion is a testimony to the fact the projects under-taken by the CDA do not cause harm to environment but are environment-friendly.
Providing the details of new plantation, the Project Director said that 500 trees of Alestonia, 500 trees of Pilkhan, 500 trees of Chir Pine, 100 trees of Sapium, 500 trees of Ficus and 400 trees of Sukh Chain will be planted. He further said that grass will also be planted at five hundred square feet of land all along the road.