0415 GMT July 22, 2019
In most of the district, especially on Karakoram Highway, different housing projects have been launched by private housing societies in Salhad, Mangal, Harno and other areas where tourists are attracted to invest in the housing sector. Abbottabad is one of the locations in the country where the price of the land has gone out of the affordability of the common man.
Several stone-crushing machines have been illegally installed in different parts of the district, including both sides of the Lora-Abbottabad Road, which are damaging the green belts.
Environmentalists and residents complained that the lush green hills rich in natural resources have been disfigured as trees on both sides of the road do not exist anymore. Abbottabad Deputy Commissioner Amir Afaq imposed a ban under Section-144 on chopping of trees for housing societies and cutting of hills in the district under Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mineral Governance Act 2017 and Environmental Protection Act 2014. The ban was imposed due to the negative impacts of cutting trees. The action has been taken due to the developmental work in Salhad, Nele Pair, Mangal and surrounding areas of the district.
He said a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Forest Department, Environmental Protection Agency and tehsil municipal officer concerned would be made a mandatory condition for cutting trees or the hills for housing societies.