On Wednesday, Supreme Court demanded Reports from the provisional forests and irrigation departments on the issues of underground water and afforestation in their respective regions.
An SC bench lead by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed called the secretaries of forest and irrigation departments of the provisional government at the next hearing.
The court advised the following departments to grow trees up to six feet tall along with Rivers and canals to strengthen their banks.
The numbers of trees planted are insufficient
The additional advocate general representing the Punjab State informed the court that the regional government has planted approximately 0.2 million trees till now. However, the chief justice described the figure as insufficient and unimpressive.
Another Justice, Ijaz-ul-Ahsan raised questions on the Billion Tree Tsunami project and about its effectiveness.
Justice Faisal Arab remarked that the land on which trees were too grown had been given to the private companies in the name of tree plantation.
Concern about massive tree cutting in hill stations
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Ahmed expressed his concern over the enormous tree cutting in the hill stations such as Kumrat Valley, Nathiagali, and Murree and said if this continues, it would end the tourism in these regions and thus, the country would become lifeless.
He showed his suspicion that deforestation will contribute to climate change and will also lead to a rise in temperature and also result in slowing snowfall in hills.
The Top Court warned the provincial governments
The Sindh irrigation department informed the Supreme Court that many trees have been planted along with Rivers and canals in the region. But the chief justice termed this information baseless and pointed out that no plantation drive has been initiated so far in obedience with the court directives. He remembered that there were dense forests along with Rivers and canals once, but all these had disappeared over the last few decades.
The additional advocate general for the Balochistan informed that almost 40,000 trees had been planted by the regional government so far and a report regarding this has been submitted in the court for its perusal.
However, the top Court warned the regional governments not to plant trees on the paper only. But, they are required to launch a real physical tree plantation drive along the banks of rivers and canals to preserve them for future generations.
The court also sought a report from the Advocate General of Islamabad on the water reservoir in the capital.
The next hearing on the matter will be after four weeks.