Senate body expresses concern on growing trend of fire and littering at Margalla Hills

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A parliamentary body of Upper House of parliament has expressed concerns on growing trend of fire in the Margalla Hills and directed to take appropriate measures to control it.

This was expressed in the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change, which met on Monday while Senator Seemee Ezdi was chair. The Chairperson IWMB and the CDA official informed the committee that meetings have been coordinated with the DG environment and wildlife management to devise a plan for the prevention of fire in the Margalla hills in the coming seasons. The CDA informed the committee that the fire prevention is to contain the spread of fire. The CDA official informed that further measures will be taken to prevent fire in the area, The CDA official told that the PC -1 is approved for the procurement of machinery equipment for prevention of fire. The official also apprised the committee that the fire prevention plan will be aided by the fire fighters from the local community and the rangers.

The chairperson IWMB informed the committee on the issue of littering at the Margalla Hills, Islamabad. It was informed that the littering issue can only be resolved through on spot fines. “Charges on the littering at present are done through the magistrate, the process makes it impossible to fine charges on time” stated Chairperson IWMB. The chairperson informed that the Nature and Wildlife Management Act has been drafted which will give powers to the rangers for on spot fine on littering.

The chairperson IWMB also informed the committee that notices are also being served to LA Montana and other restaurants in order to meet the objective of the National Park. The committee was also informed that in the light of the judgment of the high court no construction would be allowed in the National Park and it would solely serve the purpose of education and promotion of wild life. The committee was also informed that these hotels and restaurants are also a source of contaminating the water. The CDA official informed that sewerage treatment plants for non-operational for 10 years in I /9 sectors. The CDA officials also informed that a solar Panel has also been gifted to Pakistan by China since 10 years which is non-functional. The committee showed its grave concern over the non-functional solar plant and sought details over the matter.

The meeting was attended by Senators Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Taj Haider, Dr. Muhammad Humayun Mohmand, Kamran Michael, Khalida Ateeb, Umer Farooq and Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem. Senior officials from the Ministry of Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other attached departments were also in attendance.

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