Planting Palm trees in Pakistan,an unsuitable Political Effort.
December 8, 2010 12 Comments
For the last many years a new kind of trend is seen in urban areas of Pakistan that plantation of palm date trees has been in rise.For the people who know well the ecology and horticulture of Pakistan , is in state of shock that who has floated this unsuitable idea to implant full-grown palm trees in parks and roads sides of our cities.
Pakistan has a wide range of tree species like shessham kikar, deodar, pine, teak, neem ,Eucalyptus,and many more.All local trees have specific advantages to our environment and inhabitants. Sheesham and other trees not only provide a natural umbrella like shade in severe heat of summers but all are meant for good economics as woods of majority are widely used for different industrial purposes.
In 1970s same kind of trend was officially adopted for planting another foreign species of Eucalyptus mostly imported from Australia.
At that time a campaign was launched and Eucalyptus was widely grown in irrigated plantations of the Govt land and on farm-lands of Punjab and Sindh and PK khyber. Almost one million trees are planted in the Punjab on farmlands.The advantages attached or publicized before planting this alien tree were like that i.e
its early growth, help in reducing pollution with along side of roads and highways, long and absorbent roots that can secure the embankment of canal and rivers and many more to justify this new kind of Plantation.Nobody knew how much and who earned a lot by taking such abnormal decision of ignoring plantation of local trees over this export saplings.
If system and its designers don’t follow proper research before bringing foreign plantation ,time will naturally report our blunders in the form of eco disaster.Like in this case after facing acute drop of underground water reserves now decree has been passed to cut all mature Eucalyptus trees to save the under ground water level.The offense on poor tree is placed as it is a”water thief”.
So whole machinery of govt departments took no time and started chopping full-grown trees on the name of reserving water resources.
The tree killers who all time force/suggest such kind of moves always have some personal political motives like widening of roads by taking contracts of construction or on the name of civil works or for constructing plazas and shopping centers.On the name of development chopping off such trees are carried out senselessly.By following this legalized criminal attitude the officials of development authorities and tree mafia get an easy approach to earn millions by selling precious wood of such mature trees.Nobody bother in all such malpractices that what are we actually doing to mother nature which is a providing shield to all living beings .
In last years some lovers of Palm date trees in our agriculture departments is trying to force newly idea in our horticulture .They are importing full-grown palm , date and palm bottle trees or buying from local farms through influential groups on very expensive prices.The price range of each tree varies from Rs 20,000 to 40 000 .
These trees are being planted in central and northern Punjab.As usual our officials have neglected the effects of such useless trees in our harsh temperature areas.Date trees give poor yield and low quality dates in such climates and they contribute nothing to provide cool shades in severe summers of Pakistan..
Plantation of date trees is suitable to our coastal belt areas or toward southern Punjab near Thar.There are many areas in sindh and Baluchistan where such an expensive implantation can produce better economical and ecological results but decorating Lahore,Pindi and Islamabad areas with such unsuitable and irritable trees are highly disregarded and considered as neglecting the natural agriculture trend of local soil by imposing wrong plantation
No doubt that date tree has its advantages and dates are highly nutritious, with a sugar content of ripe dates about 80%, and the remainder is a rich blend of protein, fat and mineral products including copper, sulfur, iron, magnesium and fluoric acid.
But using it for beautifying the city is not a good choice in this time of global warming.Our urban areas and its adjacent parks and green belts are badly in need of local shady trees as high source of Oxygen via wide green portion.Our all traditional trees have excellent capacity of act like oxygen producers as compare to these date trees.
As per track record it is all being done to give benefit to some groups who are selling this product on the name of tree plantation drive.
It is also observed that as no peculiar and necessary precautions are being taken while its digging and transportation of such mature trees so many trees couldn’t get roots in change environment.In Islamabad and Shareh Faisal of Karachi still hundreds of dry trees are standing on side ways telling us inexperience of its handlers.
It is need of time to realize that such date tree mania has no place in our urban soils. Right plant at right soil and climate can only help the environment and its living beings.People who are engaged in this business should be checked and punished for doing such environmental terrorism through state funding.