Accidental bush fire

Accidental bush fire

10 February 2007

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Pakistan — The unusually prolonged dry spell has started reflecting on theenvironments around here. The air is thick with solid pollutants making thebreathing difficult for those who suffering with the dust or pollen allergy,which, somehow, is probably highest in the federal capital as compared to otherparts of the country.

The people in the environment directorate of the Capital Development Authority(CDA) seem to be the ones waiting, most anxiously, for the rains to come becausethe dry spell has also left the already dried out winter stricken grasses andtrees even drier. This has increased the chances of an accidental bush fireflaring up manifolds.

And the worst fears of the these people in the environment directorate becamereality a few days back when a raging fire flared up behind the Shakarparianhillock, gulping a vast tract of grass and shrubs within minutes.

Now, unlike the summer, when most of these fires are attributed to sweltering,hot weather sans rains, this fire seem to be the result of a small negligence onpart of some individual visiting or passing through this area.

Evidently, this fire was not the result of some carelessness shown by somepicnickers. There are far more chances that a carelessly disposed off cigarettebutt has led to this incident that has scarred the face of this otherwise greenpatch in the federal capital.

And this small negligence or carelessness on part of, may be, one individual hasnot only blackened acres of land by burning all the grass and shrubbery but seemto has also badly damaged some of these beautiful chir pine trees that havetaken decades to grow to these heights.

We know that the people in the CDA seem to have lost all the love for a ‘greenIslamabad’ but whatever number of trees (all species without discrimination!)they are falling, they are doing it in the name of development!

But, we certainly hope that even those people in the CDA would not approve ofsuch a destruction and scaring of the beauty of the federal capital.

In the yester years there used to be one ‘Margalla Hills Society’ that once usedto be so active to protect the natural environments, the flora as well as fauna(including wild bores!). The society once used to distribute small leaflets andbooklets and used to organise ‘awareness raising campaigns’ among the masses. .And one of the main focus of those awareness-raising campaigns used to be ‘preventionof accidental fires on the Margallas’!

But now, it seems, that the members of that society have also taken leave!Probably too dejected by the recent policies of the CDA!

But, we believe, now the CDA, itself can lead the campaign and that should notbe too difficult as well. The authority has been busy displaying different kindsand sizes of warning as well as guide signs all over the city to help peoplefind their way in and out of the city and towards different lands marks.

We hope it would not cost too much to the authority if they may put some sort ofwarning signs against lighting fires or throwing burning cigarette butts whiledriving or walking through green areas!

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