Exclusive: IWMB director reveals facts about ‘TikTokers deliberate fire attempts in forests’

The IWMB Director Dr Tariq Bangash has revealed the facts about the deliberate fire attempts from TikTokers in forests of Margalla Hills.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) Director Dr Tariq Bangash has revealed the facts about the deliberate fire attempts from TikTokers in the forests of Margalla Hills.

In an exclusive interview with News360, IWMB Director Tariq Bangash said that the viral video of a female TikTok influencer Dolly was filmed in a forest zone near Hazara Motorway but not from Margalla Hills National Park.

It emerged that a famous TikTok influencer namely Dolly was booked by the Islamabad police for allegedly setting the forest area of Margala Hills on fire for shooting her video, while some other videos purportedly showed other TikTokers setting fires in other spots.

IWMB officials told News360 that the act of deliberately setting the forest on fire is a serious crime, especially when it is done for a few minutes of entertainment. They said that the accused TikTok influence Dolly will be arrested soon while another TikToker was earlier nabbed for filming such videos.

They added that deforestation is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a hefty fine.

Dr Bangash said that for the past few days, such videos of TikTok influences have been going viral on social media in which they have set the forest areas on fire in the background.

TikToker Dolly booked for allegedly setting Margalla hills’ forest area on fire

He added that such actions and their promotion via videos is the most serious and unforgivable crime which encourages deforestation.

He said that in recent days, two TikTok videos have gone viral and the concerned authorities arrested one of the perpetrators while the woman seen in another video will also be arrested soon.

The IWMB director said that the TikTok video of the female influencer, which is being shared as the forest of Margalla Hills National Park, was actually filmed in the forest adjacent to Hazara Motorway, whereas, another video is related to the forest of Abbottabad to which the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Forest Department is taking action.

“Such a heinous act should be discouraged and condemned.”

Dr Bangash vowed that there are severe punishments for those who cause damage to forests and that the culprits of recent incidents will be brought to justice.

“We are already facing a shortage of forest zones in our country. If we set these forests on fire for a few minutes of fun, what future will we give to our future generation.”

He said that the country has the Indian Forest Act of 1927 which was changed to the Pakistan Forest Act after the creation of Pakistan in which all penalties have been defined.

“If a person cuts down a tree and damages the forest, he is liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine ranging from Rs10,000 to an unlimited amount depending on the number of trees.”

“Many of these crimes are non-bailable and this law is strictly enforced, but the rise in the poverty rate, growing population, lack of resources and environment are obstacles to the rapid growth of our forests in the country. He quoted some experts that any country should have 20% forest cover, whereas, Pakistan has only 5% forest cover.”

He said that a special campaign is conducted for three months every year from April 15 to July 15 to protect the forest fires in Margalla Hills National Park and other places in the federal capital Islamabad, whereas, the IWMB staffers monitor the forests 24 hours a day. “We are implementing the fire management plan in Margalla National Park in a better way.”

“We continue to work with the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and other agencies to provide staffers and water tankers in case of any fire incident. The fire that erupted in the forests of Margalla Hills was also doused within 15 minutes a few days ago.”

He added that effective action is being taken by the federal and provincial forest departments against the elements involved in damaging the trees and forests. The law is also being improved as the penalties were made stricter and fines were increased.

He said that scarcity of water resources was also one of the reasons for declining forests and hindering the growth of new forests.

“Due to the high cost of fuel including gas in our country, a large number of people depend on wood which they burn for cooking and this wood is also used for furniture and other purposes.”

“Poor economic conditions and a growing population are severely damaging our forests.”

“Forests are an important part of our ecosystem. Trees protect the earth from erosion and produce oxygen. Not only above the surface of the land, but trees are also an important part of the earth’s ecosystem.”

He said that forest cover also plays an important part in rainfall in any area, in addition to the ecological environment, trees have economic and religious benefits, such as the Buddha tree and the Christmas tree.

Other News

Back to top button