PESHAWAR: With the monsoon season just around the corner, the provincial chief executive has directed officials to undertake the necessary measures, including scientific plans for preventing floods, slowing down melting of glaciers and other flood control measures.
This was directed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retired) Dost Muhammad Khan in a meeting on Thursday to review the contingency plan to meet the expected damages from monsoon rains including to life and property, the sensitization of relief department, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) contingency plan, the role of Rescue 1122 and the overall rescue and rehabilitation plan for emergencies.
Monsoon rains to hit Pakistan by end of June
Justice Dost stressed the need for following the national policy for crisis response and crisis mitigation which is supported by comprehensive research.
He added that deforestation is a major challenge which threatens to disrupt the entire ecosystem.
In this regard, he said that the government requires a legislative framework to restore the natural beauty eroded by mass deforestation and encroachment on the natural water flow channels.
Moreover, conservation of nature, environmental hazards and the protection of glaciers were of prime concern for the survival of upcoming generations, he added.
It is quite natural that cruelty towards nature would backfire as nature would become cruel to us, he suggested, adding that the sooner we are sensitised to the mass scale devastation because of our own deeds, the better it will be to move towards damage control and mitigating damages.
He directed to launch an awareness drive which sensitises the people about the adverse effects of deforestation, adding that we should facilitate and encourage the people of forest growing areas to protect their forest.
Pre-monsoon rains to bring respite from scorching heat by mid-June
He asked the concerned quarters to draw up plans for a research centre to source scientific feedback and even to form an elite force for meeting any eventuality.
We need to learn what impacts melting of glaciers. What do modern research studies indicate? We need to open a research centre to learn how to control the ecosystem and the threats to our nature, he said.
Noting that help from the international community could be sought, Justice Dost, though, conceded that they had too little time to do much.
We have a constitutionally limited time and mandate and can only provide guidelines for the future government, he suggested.
These guidelines, though, could indicate how environmental pollution could be managed under the law, adding that effluents from industrial units polluting the environment and mass scale logging were the main areas of concern.
In this regard, he suggested that subsidising the provision of essential fuels such as gas and electricity in forest areas could offer a solution.
The caretaker chief minister also directed action against illegal encroachment in water flow channels and catchment areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2018.
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