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Chitral risking environmental peril, says activist

PESHAWAR, March 1: The Chitral Environment and Heritage Protection Society (CHEPS) organized a walk as part of its campaign to preserve environment through its plantation drive and cleanliness programme from Qayyum Stadium Saddar Peshawar. The programe was presided over by MPA Fauzia Bibi while ex-tehsil nazim Chitral Sartaj Ahmed Khan was the chief guest. On the occasion, CHEPS chairman Rehmat Ali said that if timely steps were not taken against the rapidly changing climate changes, Chitral would be at the verge of devastation and its impact would be felt in whole country. He said his organization had been working to create awareness among the people of Chitral about their responsibilities towards preservation of environment. In this regard, students and the media have been in the forefront often campaign. He said though the government allocated huge funds for tree plantation every year but there were no measures to protect and maintain the saplings. He added that the timber mafia had been active in the deforestation in Chitral which affected the overall environment. For the last eight years, CHEPS formed 1800 cleanliness committees, 1034 environmental programs in Chitral. On its plantation campaign, 1500 variety of sapling were planted in different areas of Chitral including 6,000 saplings of Russian olive; CHEPS also forwarded its resolution to the district government and NGOs to mitigate pollution, environmental challenges and preventing deforestation. Holy Prophet Muhammad had a grand history of starting a plantation campaign on different seasons and we should follow his footsteps. Participants of the event planted varieties of plants of Russian olive (Shinjoor) at Qayyum Stadium as a symbolic event for the plantation drive expected to be undertaken in Chitral this year. Ms. Fauzia Bibi condemned the cutting of trees on a large scale in Chitral. Emphasizing the importance of forests for human life, she said that a single large tree can produce oxygen for the consumption of as many as seventy people. She added that due to increasing man made pollution human being are at a greater risk of contracting various diseases. She appealed to the younger generation to play their active role in the preservation of environment. The event came to an end with a practical cleaning campaign and peace walk around the stadium.]]>

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