LAHORE: The Parks and Horticulture Authority’s (PHA) annual plantation campaign has failed to materialise this year.
The Forest Department started its campaign at the beginning of this month. It observed August 10 as the national day for tree plantation. The department is responsible for planting trees in the province while PHA is in charge of the campaign in the city. Usually, the Forest Department and the PHA start the campaign simultaneously. The purpose of the August plantation campaign is to make full use of the rainfall during the monsoons. The campaign normally starts in the first week of August. Banners were displayed and sales points for saplings were established. The PHA has planted 80,000-100,000 trees in the city annually.
Last year, the PHA started the campaign in September and ended it without achieving its objectives. This year, the campaign has yet to start.
PHA officials offered varying and unclear explanations. Javed Shaida, a PHA spokesman, said, “We have started the campaign but are not telling the media because we do not wish to advertise this.” When asked where the campaign had been launched and where people could buy plants from, he said that the campaign was encountering some problems, which would be overcome shortly.
Mohsin Latif, the chairman of the provincial government’s task force on PHA, said that the authority would start the campaign shortly, but was not sure when the campaign would be launched. He cited the flood situation as the reason for the delay in tree plantation.
Members of the public said that in the past, the PHA was quite active in planting trees and ensuring the city’s greenery but no such activities can be observed now. “I have forgotten that PHA even exists as it is rare that any activity undertaken by the authority can be observed in the city,” said an insurance agent, Habib Ahmed.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2010.
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