Trees destroyed in Margalla Hills fire will take decades to restore


ISLAMABAD: Margala Hills fire that erupted in the capital a few days ago destroyed hundreds of trees, which will take decades to restore.

According to a report in the local media, the protection in-charge of Margala Hills National Park, Zahir Khan said that hundreds of trees including pine trees were destroyed. Moreover, a pine tree takes over 30 years to grow 30 feet tall.

A case has been registered with the Kohsar police against unidentified people causing the fire in response to a complaint lodged by the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board.

The FIR stated that the board managed to foil the previous attempt to set fire to the hills, but two people on a motorcycle set fire to a park near Talhar Mor on Daman-e-Koh road. It had further been reported by the board that the main suspects were from timber mafia and hunters.

The board also stated that the firefighters were hired by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) during this period, and it had been decided that locals would now be hired as firefighters, as they know the hills and routes, instead of relying on political appointees.

Meanwhile, environmental activists and Islamabad residents gathered outside the National Press Club on Saturday to protest the recent fire in the Margalla Hills National Park.

They alleged that the fires did have natural causes and expressed disappointment that the authorities had not made any moves for nearly a week after the fire broke out.

The protesters shouted slogans against the mayor and criticised him for remaining unmoved in the face of the fire. One of the protesters carried a placard that stated: “Defend our trees from the fire as we defend our borders from enemies.”


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