KARACHI: The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has promised to plant 5,000 trees across the entire neighbourhood in exchange for the five 50-year-old trees that it chopped down last week to widen a road.
Four members of the Institute of Architects Pakistan (IAP) met DHA administrator Brigadier Zubair Ahmed on Tuesday afternoon at his office, three days after some residents were roughed up by a man in plainclothes as they were holding a peaceful protest in Phase I.
The DHA officials have agreed to start a plantation drive and plant 5,000 trees in the neighbourhood, said an IAP member, Arshad Faruqi. “We don’t want the incident of chopping trees to repeat,” he told The Express Tribune. “The 50-year-old trees can’t come back but we want to save other trees.”
The authorities also promised to plant trees on West Avenue in Phase I, where the old trees were chopped down last week. The residents claimed at least five trees were chopped down to widen the main road.
According to Faruqui, the meeting was positive and pleasant. The DHA officials have also agreed to host a seminar and open dialogue next month in collaboration with the IAP, he added.
Along with the civil society, issues of termite-infected trees, strategy to save trees when issues of widening roads arises, pavements and other issues such as street cleanliness will be discussed.
The group also told the DHA administrator that 3.7-foot-wide pavements should be built between a building and a road so that pedestrians are able to walk easily.
Despite repeated attempts, the DHA spokesperson was unavailable for comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2016.
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