Drive launched for restoration of Margalla Hills National Park


Islamabad Leo Club celebrates grant of charter

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—The Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (IDCLC)has launched a campaign to restore the Margall Hills’ natural beauty and remove all the illegal constructions from there.
Speaking at the club’s charter presentation ceremony here the Regency Hotel President of the club, Monday, Shaaref Munir urged the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) to take strict action against illegal constructions in the Margalla Hills National Park.
Shaaref reminded the audience that Islamabad High Court (IHC) a few days ago also took notice of the encroachments by the housing societies on the Margalla Hills National Park while the agencies concerned have not yet taken any action against the unplanned construction on the hill site.
The IDCLC charter presentation and the members’ oath taking ceremony was organised by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan). Senator Nisar A Memon, former Information Minister and Sanaullah Aman, Executive Director General CDA, were the guests of honour on the occasion while Sitara Satwat, the District Governor of the Lions Clubs International in the North of Pakistan presided over the ceremony.
Shaaref Munir said the IDCLC would launch a campaign to raise awareness among the citizens against the encroachment and illegal construction in the Margalla Hills National Park. “We need to protect our nature reserves especially in the National Park areas. The green cover is the beauty of the capital city. The negligence of CDA has already encouraged indiscriminate violation of bylaws of the Margalla Hills National Park,” he added.
He emphasized that youths should come forward to support the efforts of the government and non-governmental organisations against violation of environmental laws. The IDCLC has already launched ‘Grow a plant, own a tree’ campaign with the collaboration of CDA.
Sitara Satwat, the District Governor of the Lions Clubs International in the North of Pakistan, said Leo Clubs encourage youth engagement in environmental conservation, community services and cultural promotion without any discrimination of cast, creed, religion and social status. She said Lions and Leo Clubs have rendered enormous services to communities. She appreciated the IDCLC for tree plantation and zero food waste campaigns. “Our youth has unmatchable potential for community projects and to bring about a change in society if guided properly”, she added.
Nisar A Memon said youth was playing a positive role in preserving and as well as carrying forward our values and culture. “It is crucial to engage the young in environmental awareness and conservation of communities as the climate change has already started impacting the lives of the people,” he said. “Water conservation and development should be focus of everyone’s efforts,” he said. We shall keep on stressing on the government to take immediate steps to develop water reservoirs. Small dams and lakes around the cluster of rural and urban population would serve the basic needs of the people. On the other hand, Pakistan is also legging behind in developing the large water reservoirs. Sanaullah Aman said the CDA was trying its best to conserve the natural resources of the federal capital. He said the CDA would take steps to control the stone crushing and illegal housing in the Margallah Hills National Park.