Mulberry triggers pollen allergy

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NIH treated over 100,000 patients in 2007

Musharaf Zahoor

ISLAMABAD: The CDA has failed to replace paper mulberry plants from the federal capital, causing an outbreak of pollen allergy among the locals.

According to details, a plan was devised by the CDA and other departments concerned in January 2005 to replace the paper mulberry trees with alternative plantation of environment-friendly trees within a period of three years.

The paper mulberry plants are highly pollen prone while leaving hundreds pollen allergy patients every year in the city as the tress are planted in a large number across the city.

The main cause of the respiratory allergy in the spring season has been pollens from the paper mulberry trees. The epidemic usually starts from mid February and continues till the end of April and some time in May.

Thousands of people suffer from sneezing, coughing, itching, runny noses and watery eyes when pollen begins to fly and subsequently these symptoms turn into allergy asthma in many. CDA member environment when contacted said the authority has so far chopped down 6,500 mature paper mulberry trees besides taking concrete steps to stop their degeneration.

“We will restart a massive campaign shortly and all the paper mulberry trees will be replaced with environment-friendly indigenous species by the end of this year,” he added.

Paper mulberry trees have been removed mainly from 7th, 8th and 9th Avenue and clusters of such trees along both sides of Nullah Leh are being ignored.

The number of allergy patients has raised mostly in sectors including G-6, G-7, G-8 and G-9 where paper mulberry is spreading from its root system. A majority of patients visiting three main government hospitals and the National Institute of Health (NIH) reside in sector G. These hospitals and NIH treated over 100,000 pollen allergy cases in 2007.

“Is environmental beauty is more important than life of a person,” asked Moosa, a pollen allergy patient. The experts opined that any new specie of plant should be introduced after its laboratory tests anywhere in the world but unfortunately paper mulberry and such other species were planted in Islamabad without carrying out any research about their impacts on the locals.

Cut in hiked power tariff lauded: Residents of the twin cities have lauded the government’s steps to reduce the hiked power tariff.

The government has reduced the power tariff by 13 percent, while Ministry of Water and Power also has reduced the power tariff by 40 percent, which was highly appreciated by the consumers of the twin cities like people from across the country.

The recent announced power tariff will benefit the domestic consumers who consumed the electricity from 100 units up to 400 units.

Muhammad Ali Aakash from Rawalpindi told The Post said that Pakistan is facing price hike form a few years and now government is trying hard to provide relief and overcome the inflation. Farah Awan, a house wife from Islamabad, said that its great initiatives by the government to reduce the power tarrif, especaily for the domestic and poor consumers.

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