Karachi, May 23, 2022: The National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) has expressed serious concern that hundreds of fully-grown trees have been chopped in Karachi even before formal groundbreaking to start the work to build the Red Line section of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the city.
In a statement, the NFEH President Naeem Qureshi said that cutting down hundreds of trees at the very beginning of the groundwork to build the Red Line corridor of BRTS was simply a merciless act aimed at further harming the Karachi’s environment.
He said the irony was that hundreds of fully-grown trees had been mercilessly cut down on the Super Highway Link Road in the midst of the summer season when scorching heat had created unbearable living conditions in a number of affected areas in the country.
Qureshi said that a large number of trees had been cut into pieces in a span of a few hours showing that the planners behind the Red Line corridor of BRTS had no regard for safeguarding the Karachi’s environment that had already been under tremendous stress.
He said that such inhumane chopping of shade trees shouldn’t be part of a BRTS project, which was foreign-funded as the international donors behind such mass transit projects had always given the due consideration that their construction activity shouldn’t harm the environment in any manner.
He recalled that the Red Line bus service was going to be Pakistan’s first mass transit project, which would use the environment-friendly fuel in the form of biogas.
The NFEH President said that planners of the BRTS projects should do their best to ensure that the construction of the bus corridors should save trees as much as possible along the designated routes.
He said that Karachi earlier had lost thousands of trees due to the execution of different mega development projects including the Green Line bus service, the reconstruction of University Road and Tariq Road.
Qureshi urged the Sindh government to come up with a firm mitigation plan to plant new saplings in Karachi in the place of the chopped trees.