Supreme Court resents over tree cutting on river banks

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed resentment over cutting of trees while hearing a case regarding tree plantation on the banks of rivers and canals.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) in his remarks said no trees seen on the banks of Indus River adding that the Government of Sindh has allotted all land of katcha area to private persons for cultivation.

“The state land of katcha area should be covered with forests”, Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked.Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, said that the Sindh government has legislated that allotments of lands already granted would not be cancelled. Thus the government was protecting illegal allotments.

The court directed the Sindh government to cancel allotments of the forest land.

The bench called forest and irrigation secretaries of the provinces in the next hearing of the case.

The court also summoned details of tree plantation on the banks of local drains from Islamabad administration.

The apex court had directed the federal and provincial governments in an earlier hearing to secure at least six feet of land by planting trees along all the rivers and canals.

The court had also directed the provinces to submit a progress report on the matter within a month.