PESHAWAR: Students and faculty at the University of Peshawar voice concern over the felling of hundreds of trees across the campus and claim university officers are cutting the wood for personal benefit.

Over 200 trees, the majority of which are Shisham (Indian rosewood), have been cut by the administration, according to the teachers association.

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The university’s security head detailed numerous instances of trees being felled by gardeners, cut up and carted off in letters to the additional director of security. One such letter, dated April 26, 2018, says the cut trees were being taken to the sports office. However, the university administration did not take notice of the issue.

President of the Peshawar University Teacher Association (PUTA), Muhammad Arif Khan said UoP was the only university in the province home to 80 to 90 years old Shisham trees and the association had requested the vice-chancellor to open an inquiry over the matter and take actions against those involved.

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A university official, requesting to remain anonymous, said on one hand the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government ran plantation campaigns and Prime Minster Imran Khan championed the cause while on the other hand, university officials cut old and historic trees.

He claimed senior officials in the university were involved in the felling of these trees and claimed that they were selling the wood for hefty amount.

A student of the varsity, Bilal Ahmed Shah said felling these old trees was destroying the university’s beauty. He too urges administration to address the issue and save its greenery.

When contacted for his comments, UoP spokesperson Ali Imran rejected the claims and said no such incident had occurred under the current vice-chancellor’s tenure.