The Capital Development Authority (CDA) Environment Wing staff on Tuesday allegedly removed previous compost soil from Margalla Hills National Park without any higher authority approval and manhandled Wildlife Management Board officials on resisting their activity.
Chairperson Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) Rina Saeed Khan took to Twitter to inform the citizens and stakeholders about the alleged violation of the National Park conservation and protection laws.
She wrote on her official Twitter handle, “CDA sent staff inside Trail-4 to forcibly remove leaves and earth for use in their nurseries. This is against IWMB rules. You cannot remove leaves/plants from national park.
When we stopped them they broke our gate! They have been bullying our staff for months.” She further mentioned that the CDA staff had broken the IWMB’s signs installed on Trail-4. “This is how they treat IWMB, the legal custodians of MHNP.
If you want to save the national park from being gobbled up by development please retweet and help us!”
The IWMB chair also shared picture of Islamabad Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Ordinance, 1979 highlighting the functions and powers of IWMB in rules 3 and 4 respectively.
As per the mandate given through the legislation, one of the functions of IWMB as per rule 3 of the Rules is to “take all policy decisions, draw plans, programmes and execute them with regard to protection, preservation, conservation and management of wildlife, including the zoos in the Islamabad Capital Territory,” which meant that all matters pertaining to management and preservation of MHNP is the domain of IWMB.
IWMB Senior Official told APP that the CDA Environment Wing was also looking after the Margalla Hills National Park as a stakeholder whereas today its staff started digging compost soil which is a complete biodiversity ecosystem and takes years and years to develop.
“As per the law, nobody can remove a single leave from the national park or damage its ecosystem as ecological destruction itself is a bigger crime,” he added.
The IWMB staff’s main argument, he said, was to provide any permission or authority letter from their high ups as a valid document to remove earth from the park which was referred by nursery growers as gold to raise plant and flower saplings.
However, on a small objection the entire CDA staff got infuriated and manhandled IWMB officials who bore injuries during the clash, he added.
The CDA Environment Wing had fined Rs 8,000 and Rs 20,000 to private nursery growers involved in removing compost soil from Shakarparian area as a violation to the law, however, it was incomprehensible to see their reluctance in applying the same law on their staff.