ISLAMABAD: The Senate subcommittee for climate change, led by Mushahid Hussain Syed took notice of the lack of parking spaces at high-rise buildings in posh areas of Islamabad. They also sought a copy of the new parking policy from Capital Development Authority (CDA).
The committee also sought a report within 15 days regarding the situation of cleanliness in the F-9 Park and the filth that has defaced its pond.
During the meeting the committee’s convener Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that there are heaps of dirt in the rivulets and slum areas and this is a direct violation of Islamabad’s master plan.
Syed suggested that the government form high level committee for the supervision of rivulets and slum areas so that this issue would be solved permanently, and it should be led by the prime minister (PM) himself. He said that due to non-planning in construction in Islamabad there would be more problems.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said that to curb the pollution, there would be a complete ban on plastic in Islamabad from August 14 and for this a new SRO has been made which is being sent to the PM and after his approval it will be presented in the cabinet.
“In a bid to make the federal capital plastic-free, a fine of Rs500,000 would be imposed on those violating the ban after August 14,” she said
During a conversation with media Gul said that there will be restriction of plastic in Islamabad from August 14, fines will be imposed on anyone violating the ban.
The fines are divided into three categories: producer, seller, and supplier and for all of them there are different fines. In some cases violation of the ban could also lead to imprisonment. ‘The present government has for the first time allocated a development budget for environment, and allocated more than Rs7.5 billion for this purpose,’ she stressed.
The sub-committee and discussed issues related to plants being constructed on the green belts of the capital, katchi abadis, nullahs and parking problems in various shopping malls.
The sub-committee was mainly focusing on the report on environmental issues pertaining to the federal capital, also discussed the huge space that billboards occupy on the buildings.
In the meeting CDA officials informed the sub-committee that the nullah at the F-9 Park will be cleared in 15 days. Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) officials also informed the committee that the managements of the private housing societies of E-11 were directed to establish sewerage treatment plants of appropriate technology to give a sigh of relief to the residents and cater to the environment.
In the meeting, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director General Farzana Altaf informed the committee that there was no air pollution in sectors I-19 and I-10 industrial area as it was being monitored round the clock. Senator Samina Saeed, CDA, MCI officials and environmentalists attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2019.