Prime Minister Khan on Saturday tasked the climate ministry with promptly providing details of the Billion Tree Tsunami project to the Supreme Court, Geo News reported.
The decision was taken during a meeting between PM Imran Khan and Special Assistant for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.
During the meeting, the premier decided to obtain a record of drone videos and authentic images of the Billion Tree project.
In this regard, the federal government has requested data from all provinces following the court’s orders, while SUPARCO has been asked to provide satellite images.
Moreover, the Ministry of Climate Change has penned letters to provincial secretaries of forest departments and chief secretaries asking for the project’s data from 2019 to June 2020.
Take the notice seriously
The ministry has demanded that the provinces — along with the requested data — send pictures of the trees as well.
According to sources, 10 billion Tree Tsunami Project Director Muhammad Suleiman Khan has been appointed as the chairman of the 10-member committee that will submit the ministry’s reply to the apex court.
The prime minister has directed the Ministry of Climate Change to take the SC’s notice seriously, sources added.
Were the trees planted in Bani Gala?
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had taken notice of the Billion Tree Tsunami and sought all the details of the project.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the case related to tree plantation near rivers and canals.
The court, in this regard, summoned the secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change and issued contempt of court notices to the Sindh and Punjab governments over their failure to submit a report on the matter.
“There are no trees in Nathia Gali, Malam Jabba, and even Murree,” observed the top judge, questioning the Billion Tree Tsunami project.
“The Islamabad administration boasts planting 500,000 trees, but they are nowhere to be seen,” he remarked.
“Were they planted in Bani Gala? There are no trees planted along the rivers from Islamabad to Karachi. There are no trees in Peshawar and there is deforestation going on in Nathia Gali.”