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Over 5,000 Trees Cut Along Superhighway
KARACHI: Around 5,280 full-grown neem trees, planted along the Superhighway by the Sindh forest department, have been cut by contractors to widen space for the highway being constructed, said an official of the department on Friday.

The Karachi-Hyderabad Super­highway is being upgraded to a motorway by the National Highways Authority (NHA) and the Frontier Works Organisation is building the motorway.

Hyderabad forest conservator Arif Domki told Dawn that despite approaching two police stations concerned — PS Gadap and PS Malir Cantt — no case was registered against illegal deforestation.

Around nine years ago, the official said, the forest department planted neem trees along a patch of the highway, between the toll plaza and Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard, and now the trees had become mature.

When the forest department asked the people felling the trees with heavy machinery to stop, they did not listen and informed the foresters that they were directed to do so by the contractors to broaden the road for the motorway, said the department official.

Gadap station house officer (SHO) Khan Nawaz told Dawn that he had not received any formal complaint regarding tree-felling, adding that if a complaint was received, they would register the case and follow the required legal procedure. Mr Nawaz, however, agreed that trees had been cut in the area.

Malir Cantt SHO Rao Dilshad said that he received an application from the forest department but as the other party involved was an organisation of the federal government, the application was referred to the legal department concerned and action would be taken according to their decision.

The trees were probably cut to broaden the highway and not to steal wood, he added.
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