In light of the monitoring of cases of cutting trees on public roads for the purpose of heating and confusing them with cases of pruning or cutting harmful trees, a source in Damascus governorate told Athr that the city’s streets are witnessing operations to trim trees. The director of the Directorate of Parks, Somar Farfour, revealed to Athr Press that there is only one case in which trees are completely cut down if their presence affects the infrastructure. As an example of this topic, on Thursday, a Cinchona tree was cut down in “Al-Amin Street – Dakhlat al-Shorafa” because it caused the closure of the sewage network.
Farfour pointed out that a letter was submitted to both the Sanitation Corporation and the Ministry of Agriculture, and accordingly, specialists were sent from the Directorate of Sanitation and Inspection of the area and based on their report, a letter was submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture on the need to cut this tree because of the harm it causes to citizens, and accordingly, the ministry, in turn, sent a specialized team, and upon confirmation of the matter, they were given the order to remove it.
Somar Farfour, the director of the Directorate of Parks, highlighted that the punishment for cutting down public trees in streets and public places is a jail term from three months to two years and a fine between 500,000 and 2 million Syrian pounds. He also mentioned that the Directorate conducts daily campaigns in various areas of the city to apprehend those who cut down forest trees to use as fuel. During these campaigns, nine individuals were arrested for cutting down trees and branches from public places and streets and put in prison. He emphasized that trees are a valuable national resource that should be protected, as many of them are estimated to be 50 years old, yet citizens easily cut them down. He also acknowledged that some areas on the outskirts of the city are difficult to control. Farfour also added that the cut trees are taken to a workshop and delivered to a nursery, and every year or two, the products of this cutting are collected, and a public auction is held for them to be sold as the wood used either for heating or for the carpentry profession.
It is noteworthy that many citizens resort to cutting trees for heating in light of the continuous rise of oil derivatives. Many of them fail to receive their allocations of diesel and power outages for more than seven hours.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.