WHILE Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is recognized at the global level for successfully executing one billion tree Tsunami project for protection of environment, its recent decision of awarding rights for establishment of stone crushers near Khanpur Dam has come as a surprise to many and rightly so as it will badly damage the environment of the whole area including the federal capital.
The very decision of KP government may also be challenged in the Supreme Court as there are clear orders of the apex court regarding complete ban on the stone crushing on Margalla hills.
We understand that the desperate elements which were earlier doing crushing and mining on the Margalla hills are behind getting crushing rights near Khanpur Dam.
What is really disturbing is that Margalla had about sixty stone crushers whilst Khanpur-behind Margalla Mountains, is going to have over three hundred.
It is estimated that these stone crusher project will help generate up to eight billion dollars per annum but the impact on environment will be disastrous.
It is surprising that this scheme has also been made part of annual development project without any environmental assessment by the authorities.
Besides destroying vegetation and converting pristine mountains into craters and ruins, the stone crushers will spoil the natural habitat of birds and wildlife.
This whole area is full of vegetation with natural water streams and has great tourism and recreational potential. Allowing the stone crushing for the sake of few billions rupees will only kill its beauty.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has always shown much interest in preserving natural habitats and is often seen campaigning for tree plantation.
Countrywide projects especially 10 billion tree Tsunami is one of the major environmental projects being executed by the PTI government. This stone crushing scheme is totally contrary to his ideology and pro-environment policy.
We therefore will ask the Prime Minister to personally look into the matter and order cancellation of this anti-environment project.
Environmentalists should also raise their voice against the negative impact of stone crushing on the beautiful landscape.