ISLAMABAD: The Planning Commission has endorsed a budget of Rs815 million from Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for development portfolio of Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) for the coming financial year.
Sources at the Ministry of Climate Change told The Express Tribune that some of their on-going projects were however only being run on paper.
Meanwhile, the commission approved the Indicative Budget Ceiling (IBC) by a tentative amount of Rs815 million from PSDP for the ministry’s expansion portfolio for financial year 2018-2019.
Earlier, the MoCC had submitted its demand of Rs69.81 million for approved projects by the Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP), including establishment of Pakistan Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), Strategic Planning and Coordination Cell, Climate Resilient Urban Human Settlements Unit, Establishment of Climate Change Reporting Unit in Ministry of Climate Change for funding from the programme in the upcoming budget.
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Additionally, the ministry had also demanded Rs738.50 million for its six continuing projects including establishment of geomantic centre for climate change, Green Pakistan Programme, Sustainable Land Management project to combat desertification of Pakistan (SLMP-II), and strengthening Zoological Survey of Pakistan for undertaking immediate inventory of endangered wildlife species and habitats nationwide.
The sources said that DDWP had approved Rs48.88 million for establishment of Geomantic Centre by the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) back in 2013 with objectives of promoting application of various tracking technologies for assessing existing situation of forest, desertification, soil, climate, pollution, marine life, and other environmental elements.
It also aimed at facilitating a better environmental planning in the country, through assessment of environmental impact of different human activities, making them compatible with the objectives of sustainable development.
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“Despite passage of five years practically and physically nothing was done on Geomantic Centre project,” An official at MOCC told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity.
Contrary to this Pak-EPA shows 52 % progress on project, largely in terms of financial expenditures of the project. Meanwhile, the environmental protection agency takes credit for launching the Environmental Atlas of Islamabad 2016-17, besides struggling to prepare State of Environmental Report 2015-16, in addition to conducting industrial and hospital waste surveys of Islamabad.
The Pak-EPA also claims about establishment of a well-equipped centre of geospatial technologies for environment monitoring in Pakistan and collection of a spatial and thematic database on various environmental issues such as natural resources, natural and anthropogenic hazards and pollution levels.
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Contrary to claims, ministry officials said that Environmental Atlas of Islamabad launched by Pak-EPA was comprised over the information existing on different websites and was a mere replication of the already available information.
The ministry officials said that there were only 128 industrial units working in Islamabad of those some rerolling mills and marble factors were responsible for environmental pollution, whereas Pak-EPA was still unable to complete survey of industry despite spending huge taxpayers’ money and time. They also said the premier environmental protection body had failed to publish its 'annual' report since the past 10 years.
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