Islamabad: Sources in the Capital Development Authority (CDA) told ‘The News’ that the park will be developed in five years at a cost of Rs239 million. The park will be divided into blocks of 4 to 10 acres. These blocks will be given to government and private sector institutions in addition to academic institutions for afforestation. Plantation will be carried out by institutions and departments. Boards will be displayed in every block, mentioning the name of the institution or department, whatever the case may be. These boards will also mention the total number of saplings planted, their species and other details, sources said.
Sources said that the sponsoring agency of the project would be Planning and Development Division. The CDA Environment Directorate will implement the project under the supervision and guidance of Planning and Development Division.
The forestry park is being developed to protect the local flora and fauna. It will also have the gene pool facility for posterity besides recreational and educational facilities. It will help create awareness among people about the importance of preserving natural environment, sources said.
The major activities in the first phase of the project will include contour (half metre) mapping, survey, land development, ridging, bush clearance, purchase of plants, digging of pits, plantation of indigenous species at 10’X10’ spacing, fencing of poles and gates, construction of water courses along with four water tanks, installation of two turbine tubewells and setting up of rain harvesting mechanism.
The park will be equipped with all facilities, including horse and jeep tracks, enclosures of local birds and animals, camping sites, picnic spots, shelters, huts and jeep safari. A specific area will be allocated for the nursery of indigenous plants.
CDA Director Environment Malik Auliya Khan told ‘The News’ that the construction work on the forestry park would hopefully be started in a couple of days and it would be completed in five years with financial support of the Planning and Development Division.
He said the main purpose of the project is to sustain wildlife and maintain environmental settings of the area. According to him, indigenous saplings and different species of animals would be introduced in the park. The park would also have camping facility especially for students.
“Jogging tracks would be developed besides various other recreational facilities but all development work would be completed without causing any kind of damage to the natural environment of the area,” he said.
Malik Auliya Khan said that the Planning Commission has approved the project after thorough consideration and it would continue to provide every kind of assistance to the CDA for its timely completion.
An annual plantation competition would be a regular feature. All institutions and departments having blocks in the park would participate in it. “Participants would be bound to plant only indigenous species of plants.”[The News]