Govt to provide satellite images of tree project to SC

ISLAMABAD: The federal government will be providing details of the Billion Tree Tsunami project to the Supreme Court including satellite imagery. A 10-member committee has been constituted on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan to compile data about the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme and submit it to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, sources told The News here on Saturday. “Project Director Suleman Khan will head the committee that will collect all the relevant data including satellite images of trees, cost incurred on the entire exercise and measures being taken to take care of saplings so far planted in different areas,” the sources said.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed annoyance over rapid deforestation and sought a comprehensive report on the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme, highlighting the exact number of trees as well as the areas where they have been planted. The sources said the prime minister was informed about it when he was on a one-day visit to Gilgit-Baltistan and his Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam was accompanying him.

“The prime minister immediately directed Malik Amin Aslam to submit all the relevant data about the PTI’s flagship tree programme to full satisfaction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” the sources said.

The sources said now the Climate Change Ministry has constituted the committee that will prepare a comprehensive report, adding: “The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) has already provided satellite images of those areas where saplings and trees have so far been planted under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme.”

According to the initial data compiled by the government, three man-made forests have been established in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and two per cent increase has been recorded in the total forest area of this province. “The government has a stock of 350 million saplings that will be planted in different areas of Pakistan in next few months,” the data said.

It was earlier reported that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) detected a loss of over Rs 462 million to the public exchequer in its initial inquiry into the Billion Tree Tsunami Project.

This correspondent tried to contact Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, but he was not available for comments.

This article originally appeared on The News International