DRIVING on the M-2 Motorway one cannot help but notice four rows of tall eucalyptus trees planted on both sides of the road. These trees have become huge in the last 20 years. They look imposing and create a beautiful landscape, however, I must point out that these trees are known for consuming a large quantity of ground water.
Eucalyptus trees were first imported in large numbers from Australia during the ‘60s to address waterlogging issues in Pakistan. They worked quite well and helped in the green revolution. Looking at their robustness more and more eucalyptus trees were planted in areas where there was no need of ground water like the motorway. Behind these tall trees one sees fields which depend on ground water.
Water and plant specialists will probably agree that eucalyptus was a bad choice for the M-2. They may also agree to replace eucalyptus with domestic trees and eliminate high consumption of our dwindling ground water.
S. Nayyar Iqbal Raza
Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2019